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COLLECTIONS 



MINNESOTA 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



VOLUME XIII. 




ST. PAUL, MINN- 

PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY- 

AUGUST, 1908. 



Printed and Bound by 

Free Press Printing Company, 

Mankato, Minn. 



Minnesota Historical Society Collections 
Volume XIII. 



LIVES 

OF 

THE GOVERNORS 

OF 

MINNESOTA 

By JAMES H. BAKER, A. M., 

Secretar} 7 of the State of Minnesota, 1860-62; Brevet 

Brigadier General, U. S. Volunteer Army; 

Commissioner of Pensions four years 

under President Grant; and later 

U. S. Surveyor General 

for Minnesota. 



"Suum cuique tribuere^ 



ST. PAUL, MINN, 
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY. 

1908 



i9v7fi§ 



1 



OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY. 

NATHANIEL P. LANGFOED President 

WILLIAM H. LIGHTNEE Vice-President 

CHABLES P. NOYES Second Vice-President 

HENBY P. UPHAM Treasurer 

W AEBEN UPHAM ' . . . Secretary and Librarian 

DAVID L. KINGSBUBY Assistant Librarian 



COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATIONS. 

NATHANIEL P. LANGFOED, 

GEN. JAMES H. BAKEE, 
EEV. EDWAED C. MITCHELL. 



COMMITTEE ON OBITUARIES. 

EDWAED P. SANBOBN, JOHN A. STEES, 

GEN. JAMES H. BAKEE. 



The Secretary of the Society is ex-officio a member 
of these Committees. 



PREFACE 

It is my purpose to write the Lives of the Governors 
of Minnesota, from the organization of the territory down 
to the present time. This period is . profoundly inter- 
esting to every citizen of the state because the annals 
of human affairs can furnish no more glorious example 
of development and prosperity. The rulers of the 
state form a group by themselves and a deep interest 
is always manifested in the personal history of any citi- 
zen whd, by talent, character, and the discharge of civic 
and public duties, arrives at the dignity of its Chief 
Executive. 

Such a series of biographies necessarily carries with 
it much contemporaneous political history. If in all 
this the writer shall be able to record facts with accuracy, 
and draw inferences with candor, he will have rendered 
the state no inconsiderable service. 

As to the fitness of the author for this special work, 
it should be stated that I have known intimately each 
and every one of the governors of the territory and state, 
having lived on terms of personal friendship with them 
all. I have not only sat at their firesides and known 
their home life, but from the time when, in 1860, I be- 
came Secretary of State to Governor Eamsey, I have 

VII 



PREFACE. 

participated in almost every campaign in the state. In 
company with the governors themselves and their lead- 
ing organizers, I have canvassed the state, and spoken 
from the same platform with them in nearly every 
county of Minnesota, I have attended many of the 
nominating conventions, and have had personal knowl- 
edge of the inside workings of the political parties, their 
motives, purposes, hopes, defeats, such as only those who 
have personally shared in their councils can understand. 
For fifty years I have studied the progress of Minnesota 
and felt the thrill of its political life, and I write the 
lives of these sons whom she has most highly honored, 
not as a distant and critical spectator, but as a partner 
in the struggles and victories of the half -century. Dur- 
ing all these years I have been the political associate, 
the comrade and friend of the governors of our state. 

I am fully aware of the difficulty of preserving a 
strict impartiality under circumstances of persona] 
friendship. Relations of amity, or of hostility may in- 
sensibly sway the mind. I profoundly appreciate the 
difficulty of writing contemporaneous annals, and still 
more of writing the history of men yet in the midst of 
affairs. The difficulty is not denied. That man yet liv- 
ing should, in a certain sense, read their own obituaries 
is not in accordance with the fitness of things. It is 
the penalty, however, which high position must pay. 

The design of the work admitted no exception. The 
author can only affirm that he has been swayed by no 
prejudices, and was under sacred obligations to pursue 
the truth, as he understood it ; and that if any preju- 

VIII 



PREFACE. 

dices or predilections have operated upon his mind, they 
have been unknown to himself. 

Praise bestowed upon known political adversaries, 
and disapproval of occasional conduct in the history of 
members of the writer's own party, will be taken as evi- 
dence of general impartiality. I feel, too, that I have 
now reached that autumnal period when a retrospect 
of men and events is no longer disturbed by the pre- 
judices of the hour, for years have softened to a mel- 
low tone the occurrences of the past. 

The preparation of this work has been something 
more than the amusement of literary leisure seeking an 
agreeable occupation for a disengaged mind. I have 
humbly conceived it to be a duty to the state to record, 
from personal knowledge, matters which might other- 
wise perish. It should be understood that the Minnesota 
Historical Society has long urged me to this performance, 
and is largely responsible for thus trespassing upon the 
indulgence of the public. It was thought that the writ- 
er's personal knowledge of all our governors should be 
made available for public use. 

I have filled some interstices with pen sketches of 
some other public men, who were prominent actors in 
the passing drama; but found it necessary to omit many 
equally worthy of a place in this gallery, or where would 
the volume end? 

The portraits in this volume are from accepted 
family photographs taken at the time when each gover- 
nor was tilling the executive chair, or as near it as was 
possible. 

IX 



PREFACE. 

I am indebted to many friends for important assis- 
tance throughout this book. The vast archives of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, by the aid of its librarians, 
have been sources from which abundant information has 
been received. I would be wanting in courtesy if I failed 
publicly to thank the secretary, Dr. Warren Upham, 
and Mrs. Rose Barteau Dunlap, for their constant and 
intelligent assistance. 

It also is just and proper that I should mention, as 
authorities carefully consulted, Eugene Y. Smalley's ex- 
cellent volume, "A History of the Republican Party," 
and other kindred papers; and "The Ancestry, Life, and 
Times of Hon. Henry Hastings Sibley," by Rev. Nathan- 
iel West. 

With well nigh fourscore years pressing upon me, 
I have yet enjoyed the literary work of this volume. 
Such as these sketches are, I bequeath them to my 
fellow citizens, as the last of my intellectual efforts, and 
as a final testimonial of my love and devotion to my 
adopted state. 

JAMES H. BAKER. 

Mankato, Minn., August, 1908. 



BIOGRAPHIES. 

Page. 

ALEXANDER RAMSEY 1 

WILLIS ARNOLD GORMAN 47 

SAMUEL MEDARY '. 65 

HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY 75 

HENRY ADONIRAM SWIFT 109 

STEPHEN MILLER 129 

WILLIAM RAINEY MARSHALL 145 

HORACE AUSTIN 167 

CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS 189 

JOHN SARGENT P1LLSBURY 225 

LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD 251 

ANDREW RYAN McGILL 283 

WILLIAM RUSH MERRIAM 303 

KNUTE NELSON 327 

DAVID MARSTON CLOUGH 357 

JOHN LIND 373 

SAMUEL RINNAH VAN SANT 395 

JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON 423 

XI 



PORTRAITS. 

The biography of each governor 
is preceded by his portrait; and the 
frontispiece of this volume is a por- 
trait of the author. 



XII 




ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY 

First Territorial Governor and Second 
State Governor, was born near Harris- 
burg, Pennsylvania, September 8, 1815, 
and died in St. Paul, Minnesota, April 
22, 1903. He was a Representative in 
Congress, from Pennsylvania, 1842-47; 
United States Senator, 1863-75; and 
Secretary of War in President Hayes' 
cabinet, 1879-81. 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY 

FIRST TERRITORIAL GOVERNOR 

June 1, 1849, to May 15, 1853 

SECOND STATE GOVERNOR 

January 2, 1860, to July 10, 1863 



THEKE is a storied apartment in our new capitol, 
the governor's room, where hang the portraits of 
Minnesota's line of chief magistrates in silent array, 
from Kamsey to Johnson. It is a sort of a State Pan- 
theon for our Minnesota gubernatorial gods. Eighteen 
intelligent faces gaze at you from lofty walls. In these 
illuminated countenances you can almost read the politi- 
cal history of our state. Each one seems to speak for his 
era, and recalls the events of his day and the battles of 
which he was the central figure. 

Cicero once declared that death could not come to a 
man who had once been consul. Thus speaking within 
the limitations of our state, a citizen may close his career 
with satisfaction who has reached the highest honors of 
the commonwealth. 

I desire to paint, as best I may in words, the por- 
trait of Alexander Eamsey, the governor who organized 
the territory, to set his picture in the environment of his 
times, clothed in the characteristics of his marked in- 
dividuality, and with notice of the more salient features 

3 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

of his achievement Forty-four years of unbroken inti- 
macy and friendship salute me from his grave; and this 
I trust will not warp my judgment, but rather the better 
equip me for presenting a true analysis of his character. 
He has already received the affectionate praises of de- 
voted friends, and the generous voices of political oppon- 
ents have celebrated his lofty character. Eulogy has ex- 
hausted her votive offerings, and I come late to glean in 
a field so abundantly garnered. 

The work he did, the influences he set in motion, 
are interwoven parts of the state itself. Out of chaos he 
organized the territory into official forms, and breathed 
into its nostrils the breath of life. You cannot recite 
the formative periods of our history without blending his 
life with the threads of the story. Like the confluence of 
two great streams, whose waters are lost in the com- 
mingling currents, so the state and the man were borne 
on together. 

Alexander Eamsey appeared at the right time, and 
under the right conditions, for his usefulness and his 
fame. His education, his experience, his discipline, prior 
to his advent on this soil as an empire builder, were 
such that it would seem fate herself had prepared him 
for his destiny. 

If characters are modified by physical scenery around 
them, then Eamsey was fortunate in the home of his 
youth. He came from the grand old state of Pennsyl- 
vania, settled by the English, the Scotch, and the Ger- 
man. He was from the Chestnut Eidges and Laurel 
4 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

Hills of the lovely Susquehanna. The blue tops of the 
great Appalachian range filled his youthful eye. The 
story of William Penn had stamped its impress on the 
state, and Indian legends and Indian treaties were a 
part of the traditions of every Pennsylvania boy. 

He had read, too, of the massacre of Wyoming, and 
his youthful imagination had been fired by Campbell's 
poetic description of that ruthless slaughter. He had 
thus inherited no love for the Indian character, and his 
pressing proffer to President Lincoln, to take all the re- 
sponsibility of promptly hanging the convicted savages 
of 1862, must be interpreted in the light of the lurid 
flames of Wyoming. 

To understand fully one who has played so great a 
part in our dramatic history, we must, for the hour, live 
in those times, see what he saw, look into the faces of 
his remarkable co-partners, sympathize with his trials, 
and rejoice in his successes. 

Alexander Ramsey was born near Harrisburg, Pa., 
September 8, 1815. His paternal ancestry were Scotch, 
and his mother of German origin, a racial combination 
difficult to excel. An orphan at ten, by the aid of a 
friendly relative he obtained a fair education, which was 
greatly enhanced by his strong love for reading and 
study. He subsequently became a carpenter by trade; he 
taught school, and studied law. 

That he did not receive a complete collegiate edu- 
cation, I think, is happy for us all, for then he might 
have contented himself in filling a professor's chair, 

5 



# GOVEENOES OP MINNESOTA. 

and measured out his days in expounding the metres of 
Homer and Virgil. The self-taught American, like 
Franklin and Lincoln, most often develops the vigorous 
and broad life so useful to the nation. Nor was there 
ever a better illustration of the wholesome training of 
a young man in the great common school of experience 
and self-study, which is the nursery and stronghold of 
American democracy, than we have in the example of 
young Eamsey. He was one of those practical men who 
quickly avail themselves of the grand opportunities whose 
golden gates stand open, in this country, night and day. 

He came upon the stage of active life when party 
strife was raging with unabated fury. The Whig and 
Democratic parties bitterly divided the American people. 
The questions about a bank, a tariff, and the distribution 
of the proceeds of the public lands, seem to us, at this 
distant day, to be trivial. But politics were intense, the 
excitement great, and all were politicians, even the 
women and children. As a matter of fact, it was not 
so " much measures, as men, that agitated and divided 
the people. 

Jackson and Clay were the illustrious leaders, and 
under their respective banners the contestant? were mar- 
shalled in irreconcilable antagonism. Both leaders were 
men of consummate tact and management. Each held 
his followers as with hooks of steel. Clay was the cap- 
tain of the Whigs, and his graceful manners and splendid 
eloquence held in thrall the aspiring young men of the 
day. Eamsey caught the contagion which the fervid 

6 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

genius of Clay evoked. The Whig party was resplendent 
with talent, and in that atmosphere young Ramsey was 
matured. 

The famous Harrisburg convention of 1840 met in 
his city. Harrison was nominated, and Clay was de- 
feated. But the people rose as if en masse. Banners 
floated; the air was hot with acclamations; songs were 
sung, and even business was neglected. As upon an 
ocean wave, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," were floated 
into office. 

A month later Harrison died. Tyler, like another 
Arnold, betrayed his party. Clay's heart was broken, 
and the Whig party was paralyzed. But the great com- 
moner of Kentucky bore himself like a plumed knight. 
In the midst of these stormy times, Ramsey was rocked 
in the cradle of politics. 

In 1840, he was secretary of the electoral college; 
in 1841 he was chief clerk of # the House of Representa- 
tives; in 1842, he was elected to Congress, and served in 
the 28th and 29th Congresses. He was a substantial 
Whig member, social, cool, cautious, and given to prac- 
tical business. He retired, voluntarily, from further 
service, after the close of the 29th Congress, while, sin- 
gularly enough, Henry Hastings Sibley was just entering 
the 30th Congress as a delegate from that terra incognita, 
the territory of Minnesota. 

Ramsey's career in Congress was signalized by his 
ardent support of the Wilmot Proviso, in its application 
to certain territories acquired as the result of the war 

7 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

with Mexico. His seat was next to Wilmot's in the 
House, and, as a matter of fact, he wrote the proviso 
on his desk for Wilmot> which the latter offered. No 
less strange is the fact that Mr. Sibley opposed the ap- 
plication of the Wilmot Proviso to the territory of Min- 
nesota in the very next Congress, as "wholly superfluous." 

In 1848, Ramsey was made chairman of the Whig 
State Central Committee of Pennsylvania, and contrib- 
uted largely to the election of Zachary Taylor, the last 
of. the Whig presidents. When that gallant soldier was 
inaugurated, he at once tendered the governorship of 
Minnesota to Alexander Ramsey. His commission bears 
date, April 2, 1849. \ 

The Whig party was now moribund, dying of slav- 
ery. Clay, too, was dying, and Webster had condoned 
with the Slave Power. The Fugitive Slave Law was the 
final bolt that slew the great army which Clay and Web- 
ster had organized. Thus it happened that the brilliant 
party which had won Alexander Ramsey's youthful love 
and devotion was waning and expiring when he made. 
his advent into the Northwest. 

On the 27th day of May, 1849, the new governor ar- 
rived at the scene of his official duties. With something 
of poetic fitness, he came, with his young wife, from 
Sibley's baronial home at Mendota, where they had been 
guests, in an Indian birch-bark canoe. On the first day 
of June, 1849, he issued his official proclamation, de- 
claring the territory duly organized. 



8- 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

Minnesota thus entered her kindergarten prepara- 
tion for statehood. Then followed the detail necessary 
to the establishment of the machinery of the new govern- 
ment. This was the historic starting point of the new 
commonwealth. These important proceedings brought 
Ramsey face to face with the most remarkable body of 
men who ever graced a frontier, Sibley, Brown, the Rices, 
Olmsted, Morrison, Steele, McLeod, Stevens, Renville, 
Borup, Kittson, Bailly. 

How, at the mention of their names, the dead arise, 
and life starts in the stalwart forms of these primeval 
kings of the wilderness! If New England parades, with 
pride, her Puritan ancestors, with equal veneration we 
point to the vigorous, intrepid and superb men, who 
stood sponsors to the birth of our commonwealth. They 
were no ignoble rivals in the race which was to be run. 
No stronger men ever colonized a new country. They 
possessed that restlessness that comes of ambition, and 
the audacity that comes of enterprise. 

Far behind these empire-builders of the Northwest, 
there yet appeared in the twilight of our history, other 
majestic forms. We behold the saintly Allouez and Mar- 
quette, glorified by their sufferings. We see Le Sueur 
in the valley of the St. Peter, in his journey in, pursuit 
of gold, shrouded in mystery and romance, as imaginary 
as that of Jason in pursuit of the Golden Fleece. 

We contemplate the reign and wars of the great fur 
companies, those mighty lords of the lakes of the North. 
These all are the paladins of our history. Following 

9 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

them came the era of the scientists, Nicollet, Pike, 
Schoolcraft. This brings the panorama to true historic 
ground. We now touch the time when some who are yet 
living were co-partners in our early dramatic scenes. 

Inspired by these grand traditions, and surrounded 
by these 'stalwart figures, the young Pennsylvanian saw 
that this wilderness had an epic of thrilling interest. 
As he stood in this environment, what were his dreams 
of the future? Did he behold in the aisles of the path- 
less woods, and in the vernal bloom of the unploughed 
prairies, the miraged image of that wonderful state which 
is now so proud an ornament in the clustering stars of 
the Union? But as yet, the scene before him was far 
from inviting. There was but little to inspire him with 
hope. 

He saw but a small hamlet, with bark-roofed cabins. 
Savages yet walked in the straggling streets, with the 
scalps of their enemies dangling from their belts. Cran- 
berries and pelts were the commercial currency of the 
settlement. Oxen were the horses of the country, and 
Bed Biver carts the chariots of her commerce. 

But what gave him greater anxiety than all else, 
was the fact that, though he was the nominal executive 
of a domain more extensive than Prance, yet but a frag- 
ment was open to settlement. Casting his eyes upon 
the map, all in reality over which he had authority was 
the narrow strip of land lying between the St. Croix 
and the Mississippi, bounded on the north by a line 



10 



ALEXANDER EAMSEY. 

passing near where Princeton now stands, a "pent-up 
Utica," and the land not of the best. 

All the territory west of the Mississippi was unceded 
by the Indians. Into this rich Sioux empire, the young 
governor gazed with longing eyes. He immediately be- 
gan to press, with zeal, his Whig friends in Congress, 
for authority to make a treaty with these savages. At 
last the authorization came in 1850. As a logical result 
of this warrant, there followed by far the most important 
event in the history of Minnesota, and destined to have 
the most salutary influence upon our destinies. 

The treaty was finally consummated July 23, 1851, 
and was ratified by the United States Senate June 26, 
1852. That day Minnesota was born again. This treaty 
sealed the doom of the Dakota race in Minnesota; they 
signed away their heritage, and were henceforth strangers 
in the land of their fathers. 

Study all the history of that negotiation as you may, 
you will find that Alexander Eamsey was the essential 
and controlling factor in the transaction. He was not 
only governor of the territory, but, ex officio, Superin- 
tendent of Indian Affairs. It is true that the entire 
body of traders used their great influence with the In- 
dians to accept the treaty, and that influence was pow- 
erful. But the traders worked from mercenary motives. 
Their combined claims amounted to $209,200. Most of 
these accounts were of long standing, and were, perhaps 
justly, provided for in the terms of the treaty. But the 



11 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

one man, in that entire body of whites, who worked 
from no sordid motives, was Alexander Ramsey. 

The treaty itself was the most imposing spectacle yet 
presented in the Northwest. All the dignitaries of the 
territory, an army of traders, speculators, editors, and all 
the great Dakota chiefs, in barbaric pomp, with thou- 
sands of their painted followers, were present. Why 
it has not earlier received the historic, literary, and ar- 
tistic notice it so well deserves, it is difficult to under- 
stand. In the events of that day, it excluded and over- 
shadowed all other concerns. It gave 25,000,000 acres of 
land, 23,000,000 of which inured to the state, and this 
the most picturesque and fertile on earth. The Almighty 
could have made a better country, but he never did. 

The ink was not yet dry on the pages of that 
treaty, when a stream of immigration poured in, through 
"the inward swinging gates," and barbarism gave way 
to civilization. Ramsey beheld the realization of his 
dream; a magnificent destiny to the state was assured. 

One of the noblest features of this treaty was, that 
it was contracted by peaceful persuasion. Nearly all the 
treaties of our government with the aborigines have 
been the result of bloody wars, and made at the point of 
the bayonet. This pacific treaty stands in all honor and 
credit with that of William Penn. Not a soldier was 
present, nor were they at any time required. 

All that is wanting is an artist like Benjamin West, 
who gave Penn's treaty to the world, and the scene will 
be immortal. Yonder stands your new capitol, with 

12 



ALEXANDER EAMSEY. 

"Granite and marble and granite, 

Corridor, column, and dome, 
A capital huge as a planet, 

And massive as marble-built Rome." 

This edifice will ever be regarded with enthusiasm, 
for its grace, its elegance and dignity. Therefore we hang 
its inviolate walls with glorious state histories, first and 
foremost of which is the scene representing the great 
treaty of 1851. 

It may be proper here to note that some disappointed 
traders, whose claims were not allowed, brought charges 
against Ramsey, affecting the integrity of his conduct 
in the negotiations. It is sufficient to state that, these 
charges were fully investigated by a hostile senate, and 
he was triumphantly vindicated. Lethe, long since, sent 
her waves of forgetfulness over the whole story. 

Correlative to this negotiation, by authority of Con- 
gress, in 1863, when he was United States senator, he 
made a most important treaty with the Red Lake and 
Pembina jib ways. This treaty covered thirty miles on 
each side of the Red River, and now includes the fertile 
counties of Kittson, Marshall, Polk, and Norman, and 
part of Red Lake county, in Minnesota, Previous to 
this, by his influence chiefly, the Winnebagoes were per- 
manently removed from the heart of the fairest portion 
of the state. By his early and persistant efforts, the col- 
onist, the conqueror, the civilizer, the Anglo-Saxon, pos- 
sesses the state, and the pagan is gone. What senti- 
mentality regrets the change? 

13 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA, 

In the period between the close of his office as ter- 
ritorial governor and his election as the second executive 
of the state, he loyally performed every duty of a good 
citizen, serving one term as mayor of the city of St. 
Paul. 

The slavery question, with a potency which subordi- 
nated all other political ideas, was now "sovereign of the 
ascendant." Hitherto, in territorial politics, the Demo- 
crats held undisputed sway. On the 29th of March, 
1855, the opponents of the Nebraska bill held a meeting 
at St. Anthony, and assumed the name "Republican." 
They issued a call for a convention, which was held in 
the capitol at St. Paul on July 28. 

Ramsey had been very much attached to the Whig 
party, and at first was unwilling to abandon it; 
but from this time onward his allegiance to Republican 
principles was unfaltering. More and more these princi- 
ples informed and infused his convictions. He believed 
that his party creed was the best for the country and 
humanity. All the ills of the republic could be medi- 
cated in that political pharmacy. He made no unnatural 
political alliances, but stood his ground upon the well 
defined principles of his party. He constantly gave his 
patronage to the support of his party, except during the 
period of the Civil War, when he bestowed his favors 
equally on both parties, and with a discriminating hand. 

In 1857, a state constitution was to be made. A 
governor, state officers, two members of Congress, and 
two United States senators, were the prizes. The con- 
14 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

test was sharp, and both sides claimed a majority. The 
result was a double convention, but, by a flash of com- 
mon sense, each faction produced the same constitution, 
alike even in orthography and punctuation. Promptly 
it was approved, and the arch of the state was locked 
in the cohesion of granitic permanence. Henry H. Sib- 
ley was the Democratic candidate for governor, and Al- 
exander Ramsey led the Republican column. He was 
counted out under circumstances of great doubt. The 
vote, as reported by the board of state canvassers, was 
17,790 for Sibley, and 17,550 for Ramsey. 

In 1859, Alexander Ramsey was again the logical 
Republican nominee, and was elected governor by a de- 
cisive majority. He received 21,335 votes; and the 
Democratic candidate, George L. Becker, received 17,582 
votes. 

Under Ramsey's leadership, the Republicans at- 
tained power, to be dislodged but once in forty-five years. 
No other governor ever so impressed his individuality 
upon the state. Well did Henry A. Swift declare that 
his administration "was a distinct era in the history of 
'the state." The study of his messages reveals his prac- 
tical purposes, and consummate skill as a public adminis- 
trator. Extravagance was curbed, salaries reduced, 
county government simplified, the school and University 
lands were safely housed from the despoiler, -under the 
guarantees of the constitution. The growing and enor- 
mous school fund will ever remain as a proud monu- 7 
ment to his memory. 

15 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

His pronounced action in reference to our school 
lands, as contained in his celebrated message of January 
9,- 1861, is undoubtedly the most complete and forceful 
presentation of the value to the state, and to posterity, 
of the magnificent grant of public lands we received from 
the nation, more especially in the mode and method he 
devised for safeguarding the gift, which has ever been 
presented to a legislative body. He had fully resolved 
that this magnificent endowment should not be squan- 
dered. With matchless courage he constrained the adop- 
tion of his measures. He left nothing, in this regard, for 
his successors to do, but to follow in his footsteps. By 
this good work, so successfully accomplished, he may be 
justly regarded as the author and builder of that won- 
derful school fund, which is today the admiration of 
every state in the Union. 

Kindred to this, and illustrating his practical and eco- 
nomical state house-keeping, and characteristic of his 
German thrift, was his complete reformation of the ex- 
travagant and expensive government of the preceding 
state administration. Our first legislature was prodigal 
far beyond the state's resources. State, county, and 
township governments, had plunged headlong into exces- 
sive expenditures, creating debts and embarrassing the 
people. He met the situation promptly and vigorously. 
He insisted that every state expenditure should be re- 
duced, that taxation might not eat up the substance of 
the people, nor prove a bar to immigration. His econo- 
mical reforms were sweeping, even to reducing his guber- 
16 



ALEXANDEE BAMSEY. 

natorial salary one-half. The legislative body was largely 
reduced; county and township expenditures were cur- 
tailed; the public printing was no longer "a job;" sal- 
aries and taxes were alike reduced; and a banking law, 
which authorized a currency on inadequate securities, was 
swept away. Out of these radical reforms soon sprang 
that prosperity which has since marked the unparalleled 
advancement of the state. 

In the progress of our history there had occurred 
one of those sore tribulations by which so many young 
states and territories have been afflicted, leaving wounds 
and scars during years of regret. Our misfortune 
was the celebrated "Five Million Loan Bill." Had the 
first governor of the state stood firm, and permitted no 
encroachment upon the executive prerogative, there 
would have been a door of escape. Governor Eamsey, 
who inherited from his predecessor this ill-fortune, de- 
vised measures to extricate the state from its entangle- 
ments. An amended constitution expunged the unfortu- 
nate measure from the statutes, and the franchises and 
enormous land grants were restored to the state, and by 
his devices the state renewed the same to other corpora- 
tions, so safeguarded - as to secure us those great lines 
of railroad which have so rapidly developed the state. 
Governor Eamsey is entitled to the highest credit for the 
masterly skill with which he extricated the endangered 
state from its greatest peril. 

January 2, 1860, Alexander Eamsey became gov- 
ernor of Minnesota. Extraordinary events were pulsating 
2 17 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

the civilized world. Russia was emancipating her serfs; 
Garibaldi was liberating Italy; Germany was moving 
to unity. But above all/ in the United States of Ameri- 
ca, the revolt against the slave power had arisen to fever 
heat. The Fugitive Slave Law, the Dred Scott decision, 
Buchanan's career of weakness and imbecility, the over- 
throw of the Missouri Compromise, were inciting causes 
for a revolution which was fated to end in blood. John 
Brown's soul, at Harper's Ferry, had begun its ominous 
march. A mighty duel between slavery and freedom 
was organizing in every home of the republic. 

In November, 1860, that man of God, Abraham 
Lincoln, was elected president. The storm which had 
gathered, now burst in fury, and on a fatal Friday after- 
noon, April 12, 1861, treason fired its first shots at Fort 
Sumter, the portents of the bloody carnage to follow. 
For the first time the flag of the Union went down, 
but to rise again, for "the eternal years of God are hers !" 

Ramsey was well prepared by experience and con- 
viction, for the new and extraordinary responsibilities 
thrust upon him by the dread note of war. Not one 
moment did he hesitate, but offered the first troops to 
the President, and thus set the pace for loyal governors. 
The young state became a military camp, and the roll 
of the drum and the thrill of the bugle fired the hearts 
of the sons of Minnesota. He issued his call, and his 
call was not in vain: 



18 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

"And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed, 
The mustering squadron and the clattering car, 

Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, 
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war.". 

The unexpected exigencies required statesmanlike 
abilities. With an empty treasury, he yet equipped regi- 
ments, supplied batteries, and placed squadrons of cav- 
alry in the field. He established hospitals, appointed sur- 
geons, and sent comforts to the sick. He personally 
visited his troops in the bivouac and in the hospital, and 
no men in the field were better fed, better clothed, or 
cared for. At each subsequent call, like the clan of 
Roderick Dhu, at the sound of his bugle, warriors came 
from every bush and brake. The history of Minnesota 
in the mighty struggle became heroic. It was necessary 
to choose an army of officers, and well did he select. 
His privates became captains; his chaplains, archbishops; 
his captains, colonels; and his colonels, generals. 

But in the midst of this terrible war, when our flag 
was almost fainting in the breeze, there came the foray 
of a savage enemy in the rear, with deeds too dark for 
description, threatening the desolation of the state. The 
dwellings of settlers were blazing at midnight, their 
paths ambushed by day. It was an orgy of blood, in 
which neither age nor sex were spared. 

Never was a governor so tried and tested. Never 
was a young state in such deadly peril. But his energies 
and resources expanded with the dangers. His Scotch 

19 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA, 

blood was fired with the courage of a Bruce. He sum- 
moned every man to the front. The plow was stopped 
in the furrow; the church door was closed, or the church 
itself converted into a hospital. The inhabitants were 
fleeing toward the cities. The conditions of the state were 
trying to the fortitude of the bravest hearts. But it is 
the highest of all human praise to say, that their con- 
stancy and courage were equal to the trial. 

I doubt if the records of ancient or modern times 
give a better example of heroic deeds and actions, than 
were exhibited in that dark day, when rebels were in 
our front, and the savages in our rear. Our soldier sons 
were falling on the bloody slopes of southern battle fields, 
and our citizens, on the frontier, were tomahawked amid 
the ghastly flames of New Ulm. This was the famous 
and heroic era of our history, when we showed the world 
"the might that slumbers in a peasant's arm." 

Let our children of all time revive their drooping 
faith in periods of despondency, by contemplating this 
supreme exhibition of patriotic devotion to the public weal. 
By promptness and unwearied exertions, the governor re- 
stored public confidence, defended the frontier, and kept 
two armies in the field, till triumph closed, in honor, 
around our- faithful and chivalrous sons. These war 
achievements opened the door for his admission to the 
Loyal Legion, the noblest association following any mili- 
tary contest in history. 

It is idle to compare any other state administration 
with that of Alexander Ramsey. All others, however com- 
20 



A LEX AN DEE RAMSEY. 

petent the executives, are commonplace and devoid of 
stirring events. Amid all these scenes of financial dis- 
tress, of prostrated credit, of dire rebellion and savage 
onslaught, Ramsey was ever the central figure. His cool- 
ness, his judgment, his practical good sense, carried us 
safely and triumphantly through the most trying condi- 
tions in all the history of our state. 

The roster of our eighteen governors, territorial and 
state, comprises a roll of admirable mer>, of vigor and 
marked ability. But Alexander Ramsey is easily the 
Nestor of them all. His figure stands out in bold relief, 
and his primacy is universally conceded. 

On the fourteenth day of January, 1863, he was 
elected to the United States Senate. For twelve years he 
was a distinguished and working member of that illus- 
trious body. He served on its most important committees, 
and no senator has left a record of greater practical use- 
fulness during the stirring period of the war and the re- 
constructive era following. 

It was his fortune to participate in those great ques- 
tions of reconstruction, of resumption, of constitutional 
amendments, which in their sweep involved all the issues 
of the great civil conflict. Party matters were trivial; 
but these demanded wisdom and statesmanship absolute. 
]n all of these, he obtained the high-water mark of excel- 
lence. His state was proud of him, and felt a confidence 
in his wisdom and pilotage, felt in no other. 

As illustrative of his practical state-craft, while he 
was chairman of the committee on post-offices and post 

21 



GOVEENOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

roads, some of our most valuable postal reforms were suc- 
cessfully achieved, cheap international postage was se- 
cured, and the celebrated "Bamsey bill" corrected the old 
franking abuse. Great improvements in the navigation 
of the Mississippi river, essential aid to the Northern 
Pacific railroad, and the most satisfactory assistance in 
behalf of the territories of Dakota and Montana,— these, 
and all matters pertaining to the interests of the great 
Northwest, were the objects of his constant and sedulous 
care. 

It is proper here to remark, that, in the matter of 
negro suffrage, he believed in a ballot based -on intelli- 
gence. But in view of the extraordinary course of Andrew 
Johnson, in pardoning and restoring to civil rights those 
who had served in the rebel army, while all the South 
were determined to refuse the negro any rights whatever, 
under any conditions, he felt that it was necessary to arm 
these wards of the nation with the ballot, that they might 
not be utterly helpless, but in some measure become their 
own guardians. 

Senator Bamsey's senatorial career closed March 4, 
1875, having completed twelve years of faithful service. 

In 1879 he was appointed by President Hayes to a 
seat in the cabinet, as secretary of war. As constitutional 
advisor to the President, he filled the office with wisdom 
and discretion. He thus widened his personal fame, and 
reflected additional lustre upon the state he had been so 
instrumental in creating. 



22 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

He was called from retirement in 1882, when the 
"Edmunds bill" was enacted, the object of which was to 
extinguish polygamy in Utah. To execute that important 
statute required men of consummate skill and experience. 
A commission was formed by the Garfield administration, 
of which Ramsey was made chairman. He resigned in 
1886, and permanently retired to private life. This was 
his last public work. 

We have now touched the more salient points of his 
remarkable history. He had rounded out a splendid 
career, more abundant in honors than was ever yet ac- 
corded to any son of Minnesota. With grace, dignity, and 
philosophic satisfaction, he retired to private life. He 
was out of the dust of the political arena, but in the full 
enjoyment of the profound respect of all his fellow citi- 
zens. Not Jefferson at Monticello, nor Jackson at the 
Hermitage, was the object of greater veneration and loye 
from their fellow citizens. He had retired full of honors, 
as full of years. 

Now that the tomb has claimed him, what do men 
think of him? Was Alexander Ramsey a great man? 
Well was it remarked that, since the advent of Washing- 
ton, all estimates of human greatness have essentially 
changed. Men are now measured by the actual benefits 
they achieve for their fellow citizens, and for humanity. 
Measured by this standard, he was a great man, and his 
name should be canonized within the limits of our state. 
He was one, and the chief one, of an assemblage of 
distinguished men, who were eminently conspicuous in 

23 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

our early annals. His rivals and co-workers were of the 
Titanic type. 

There was Henry Hastings Sibley, his most illus- 
trious compeer; a man of culture amid barbaric surround- 
ings ; brave and chivalric ; the "plumed knight" of pre- 
territorial times. 

There was Henry M. Kice, able, graceful, whether in 
the wigwam or the senate, always polished, suave and dip- 
lomatic. 

There was Joseph Eenshaw Brown, the brainiest of 
them all, a sort of an intellectual lion, who sported with 
the savage Sioux, or ruled a political caucus, with equal 
power. 

There was Ignatius Donnelly, that Celtic genius, 
whose dazzling intellect shone like a meteor ; but, un- 
happily, like the elephants of Pyrrhus, he was sometimes 
as dangerous to his friends as his foes. 

There was Edmund Eice, elegant and courtly, the 
Chesterfield of his day. There was John S. Pillsbury, 
honest, solid and true; the champion of the University, 
and the friend of the settler. 

There was Morton S. Wilkinson, stately, gifted and 
elegant; the friend of Lincoln. It is to be regretted that 
his speeches were always better than his practices. 

There was Cushman K. Davis, that great jurist, 
whose bugle-notes of eloquence in Ciceronian periods still 
live in the echoes of the American Senate, as his memory 
yet lives, deathless, in our hearts. 



24 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

And there was the familiar face of Charles Eugene 
Flandrau, the cavalier of the border, lawyer, jurist, sol- 
dier, the Prince Rupert of the Northwest. 

There was George Loomis Becker, lawyer, railroad 
president, state senator, railroad commissioner, twice 
Democratic candidate for governor, a true type of an 
elegant and oeeomplished gentleman of the old school. 

There is James J. Hill, a strong, unique, virile, 
monumental character, for whom a sharp claim will be 
justly pressed with all the power of steam, for a high 
niche in the Pantheon of Minnesota's great men. 

There is the patriotic face of ihe Right Reverend 
John Ireland, priest, army chaplain, assistant bishop, 
bishop, archbishop, and soon, we pray (be it prophet- 
ically said), to wear the red hat of a cardinal, the most 
eminent Catholic prelate America has yet produced, and 
a splendid type of a loyal American, after the stamp of 
Patrick Henry. 

And we must mention also the name of Joseph A. 
Wheelock, whose polished Athenian pen has been the 
brightest jewel in the crown of our literature, and will 
remain for him a peerless monument, which proclaims 
the pen mightier than the sword. 

Men such as these, and other rare spirits, of literary, 
civil, and social mark, were Ramsey's august compeers 
and emulators. Yet, in some aggregate way, he meas- 
ured more than any one of them; and moreover, down 
deep in the red core of their hearts, the people loved 
him better than any other public man. That position 

25 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

he held by the grace of God, and without the leave of 
the politicians. 

Beside him but one scarcely inferior figure is to be 
seen, and that is the stately form of Henry Hastings 
Sibley. He was a splendid cavalier, "from spur to 
plume." He, too, is one of the august fathers of the 
state. The panorama of his life, from barbarism to civi- 
lization, is an unwritten Iliad. He, like Ramsey, was 
the type of a man to found an American commonwealth. 
These two men are the twin pillars on which the pristine 
arches of the state rest, — par nobile fratrum! 

There is nothing finer in the history of our state, 
than when Ramsey, as governor, .summoned his old an- 
tagonist from retirement, and gave him a commission to 
command all the troops in the field against the hostile 
Sioux, and with unlimited authority. The trust and 
confidence these ancient enemies, in an hour of common 
danger, reposed in each other, bespeak for them the en- 
during regard of all who admire nobility of character. 

What then constitutes the qualities which made 
Ramsey great? His greatest gift was his strong, prac- 
tical common sense. Guizot, in his History of Civiliza- 
tion, says, that saving common sense is the best genius 
for mankind, and has ever been its savior in all times of 
danger. While not a genius, he possessed talents of the 
highest order. His mental fabric was symmetrical, and 
he was ever in command of all his faculties, judgment, 
memory, perception, discretion. He could apply his 
whole intellectual endowment to a solution of the que*** 

26 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

tions before him. He was never among the stars, search- 
ing for ideal conditions, but always on the earth, taking 
clear, practical views of affairs. The proverb from Ovid, 
"Medio tutissimus ibis," was applicable to his way and 
method. 

He was a man with a purpose. He was one who 
did things. He was a projector, as well as an executor. 
He possessed a strong individuality of character, and 
that character impressed itself indelibly upon the coun- 
cils of the state. He was gifted with a quality of 
temper that could never be ruffled. Always frank and 
good humored, he might be described by Goldsmith's well 
known line, 

"An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man." 

And yet, he had firmness and decision of character, and 
was not easily turned from his purpose. 

Though bitter invective, often descending to abso- 
lute scurrility, marked the stormy annals of territorial 
times, yet he never, for one moment, descended to its 
use. Though frequently galled by the poisoned lance of 
partisan abuse, he never retorted in kind. His speeches 
and public utterances were elevated, clean, and devoid of 
grossness or defamation. 

Ramsey was not an orator. He in no wise met 
the requirements of Cicero, that master of elocution. 
So often on the rostrum with him, I always admired his 
plain, direct methods, utterly rejecting all ornamentation, 
and by the simplest and most direct route, reaching the 

27 



GOVEBNOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

purposes of his address. Like Franklin, he seldom ex- 
ceeded a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes in any 
public address. While not a fluent, he was an easy 
speaker. He spoke as well in German as in English, 
and this fact greatly enhanced his popularity. His evi- 
dent sincerity always carried conviction, and he won the 
judgment of his audience. He had as few idiosyncracies 
as any man I ever met in public life, — no crotchets, no 
fads, and this left his faculties unclouded and unbiased. 

He was a typical American, and loved his country 
with a devotion as fervid as Patrick Henry. He could 
say, as Webster once said, "I was born an American, I 
live an American, I shall die an American." The East, 
from whence he came, was narrow; but the West broad- 
ened and liberalized his ideas. 

The effect of the West upon the political thought 
and action of the republic, is simply enormous. It is 
not so much what the East nas done for the West, but 
what has not the West done for the East? We take the 
sons of the East, and recast them, in stature and breadth, 
free from the trammels of tradition, till they widen like 
our own ocean prairies. The grand effect of the West 
upon the national character, life and government, is a 
story yet to be written. The West reconstructed 
Alexander Eamsey. 

Like all truly great men, he was a firm believer in 
the truths of Christianity. He was a Presbyterian of 
the most liberal school, and believed more in a practical 



28 



ALEXANDER KAMSEY. 

Christian life than in creeds or dogmas. He often 
quoted the couplet of the poet: 

"For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight, 
His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right." 

There was something remarkable in the general 
estimate placed upon his character. Public esteem is a 
loft}' criterion to decide a man's reputation. He who 
holds an elevated character, before such a tribunal, is 
indeed fortunate. Innumerable were the tongues in the 
state which proclaimed his virtues and his safe qualities. 
In the convention, in the town meeting, in the city full, 
or on the remote frontier, in the church or on the car, 
everywhere, the people said, without distinction . of party, 
Eamsey was always safe and to be trusted. Such was the 
power of reputation and good character. To be thus 
confided in was better than a great inheritance or bank 
stock. E~o other public man among us ever so held the 
universal confidence, except possibly Sibley. With an 
intimate knowledge of our sharp political contests, I 
fear not to state that, when beaten for a high office by 
legislative coalitions and strange alliances, if left to the 
suffrages of his entire party, he would have been tri- 
umphantly elected. 

We love sometimes to look at distinguished men 
en deshabille, not always in their robes of state. Let us 
view him personally. His social and colloquial qualities 
were of the best. In private life, he was a genial and 
generous neighbor, a loving husband and a fond father. 

29 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

He was neither avaricious nor prodigal of money. He 
bowed in knightly homage to women, as all true gentle- 
men have ever done. 

That elegant contrivance of social life, a good din- 
ner, had its charms for his leisure hours and Epicurean 
tastes. The gorgeous table, the embossed plate, the ex- 
otic bottles, the brilliant flowers, the distinguished guests, 
the Attic salt, in his leisure hours, to him were fascinat- 
ing. The salads of Lucullus, and the wines of Maecenas, 
were none too- rich for his Pennsylvania blood. I be- 
lieve he had the best stomach in America, and a good 
stomach is the foundation of a strong man. 

He was a man of marked personal appearance. He 
had broad, shoulders, a deep chest, and great muscular 
power, denoting immense vitality. He had a noble head, 
round, well balanced and symmetrical. His face was 
broad and expressive. When the "dew of youth" rested 
upon him, he was accounted especially handsome; and 
age but added grace and dignity to his noble appearance. 

Finally, his connection with and defotion to the 
Minnesota Historical Society must not be omitted in 
this memorial volume. He was its patron saint from 
our natal hour to the end of his days. He signed the 
legislative act incorporating this body October 20, 1849, 
four weeks before it was organized. His address on as- 
suming the chair as first president, January 13, 1851, 
is a remarkable paper, as it defined the splendid field of 
our research, and pointed out, as never since, the great 
objects of this Society. . To read it even now creates an 
30 



ALEXANDEE EAMSEY. 

enthusiasm in our work, and an inspiration not to be 
received from any other source. He showed how Min- 
nesota had a history, rich in tales of daring enterprise, 
glowing with myths and traditions, which were to be ex- 
humed and gathered into permanent form. We were 
to preserve the fleeting memorials of our territory; in 
fact, were to become the embalmers royal to all that 
is worth preserving in our history. Hence this Society 
has a passion for old things, old traditions, old mounds, 
old stories, old pictures, old heroes; we love to grope in 
the twilight of the past, to unearth our eldest myths, as 
well as to verify events that otherwise would fade; — an 
employment so suitably symbolized by the motto on the 
seal of our Society, "Lux e tenebris." 

Like "Old Mortality" in Scott's immortal story, 
with mallet and chisel, bending over their tombs in 
pious reverence, we remove the moss which time has 
gathered, ere yet oblivion dedicates them to forgetfulness. 
We protect and preserve the name and the fame of all 
the good sons of the state, as each in his turn requires 
these good offices. That Minnesota has an Historical 
Society, methodically to gather and record chronicles of 
men and events, of which any state might be justly 
proud, is largely due to Kamsey's wise foresight and his 
constant and effective support. 

Thus have we endeavored to present the portrait of 
our first and greatest governor. We have turned the 
dial backward, and recalled some of the scenes in the 
gray dawn of the past. We have summoned figures of 

31 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

noted cotemporaries, and have touched a few of the more 
important events of his history. True, we stumble over 
the images of many other distinguished men, and the 
fragments of many weighty events; but the canvass will 
not carry all things in a single picture. The* artist has 
aimed at the general effect, without arithmetical weari- 
ness of detail. 

Alexander Ramsey has passed forever to the "starry 
court of eternity." The grave closes the scene, and we 
scatter, profusely it may be, the lilies of remembrance 
upon his sepulcher. But the praise of the dead harms 
no rival, though it be generously given. I doubt if the 
state shall look upon his like again, because there are no 
surroundings to produce such a character. He surely 
earned a name and a fame. Minnesota cannot afford 
to let it die. A generous people will yet decorate his 
tomb with a moment that would please the eye of 
Pericles. 

Ever advancing shadows leave uncovered the forms 
of but few who have been active in the arena of the 
state. Many we fondly thought imperishable are already 
quite forgotten. But Alexander Ramsey has filled so 
broad and so useful a page in the annals of Minnesota 
that he has bequeathed his name as. a household word in 
the homes of the state, for centuries to come. 

The intelligence of his death fell with an equal 
shock upon all classes of society. It invaded alike the 
homes of the -rich and the cottages of the poor, — "pau- 
perum tabernas, regumque turres." 
32 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

Alexander Ramsey is d$ad, so far as such men can 
die, and he is henceforth an historical character. We 
venture thus early to anticipate the verdict of posterity, 
and call him a great man; one test of which surely lies 
in this, that no other has yet risen among us, who, all in 
all, can successfully contest with him the palm of 
primacy. 

To few men is it given to witness what, in the limi- 
tations of a single life time, it was his to behold. The 
wilderness of 1849 has been converted into a modern 
empire, better equipped than Greece or Rome, for the 
people who are its happy citizens. Gladstone, in his 
long life, never beheld such a transformation scene. 
Moses was denied the promised land, except its distant 
vision from a mountain top; but Ramsey not only saw 
the wonderful vision, but he was permitted to enter into 
its full enjoyment. He saw the great Mississippi valley 
swiftly filled with the stars of empire. He saw the 
mighty gates of the Rocky Mountains open to close no 
more. He saw twelve hundred thousand happy and 
prosperous people on the very land his genius had given 
by Indian treaties to the expanded state. He witnessed 
what had been done, and foresaw the unwritten triumphs 
of the future. 

He must be measured in the completeness of his 
character, physical, moral, and intellectual, in all its 
harmony, by what it was capable of accomplishing, and 
by what it did actually accomplish. The propulsive 
force of his work still operates, and, like Tennyson's 
a 33 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

brook, will flow on forever. In all that pertained to the 
well-being of the state, his actions have stood the test 
of time; and no other man, on questions of public policy, 
ever committed so few errors of judgment. His name 
should be recorded among the heralds of empire, as the 
grandest among the founders and statesmen of Min- 
nesota. 

He died in the maturity of his years. The very 
ends of his being seem to have been fulfilled. It was 
no sudden death in the midst of life's great activities 
and usefulness, like the lamented Windom; but was like 
the close of some pleasing summer's day, whose long 
lingering and benignant light charms as it departs, .and 
melts away into the rosy west, leaving upon its forehead 
the evening star of memory. 

Nothing could be more appropriate for his monu- 
mental inscription than that placed upon the tomb of 
Sir Christoper Wren, the architect of the Cathedral of 
St. Paul, who lies buried in the very building his genius 
constructed, and on whose tablet is this immortal legend: 

"Si monumentum quaeris, eircumspice." 

But Alexander Ramsey lies inurned in a cathedral 
whose mighty arches and swelling dome reach to the 
very confines of this empire state, which his genius may 
be said to have almost created. 

On the 10th of September, 1845, while a member 
of Congress, he was married to Miss Anna Earl Jenks, 
a beautiful and queenly woman, of eighteen summers, 

34 



ALEXANDER KAMSEY. 

possessed of the sweetest disposition and the most estim- 
able qualities. With a dash of Quaker blood, her 
"thee's" and "them's" were exceedingly agreeable. She 
was highly domestic in her tastes. Coming from a home 
of comfort and the best society, with marked affability 
and practical good sense, she at once adapted herself to- 
iler new surroundings, and by her tact and grace con- 
tributed largely to the fortunes of her distinguished 
husband. After a noble and useful life, she died on 
November 29, 1884, and with sad hearts her troops of 
friends laid her tenderly away, covered with garlands of 
flowers, in Oakland Cemetery. 

To this union there were born three children, Alex- 
ander, William, and Marion. The two boys died in 
early childhood, during Minnesota's territorial period. 
The only daughter was married to Charles E. Furness, 
and resides in St. Paul in the old Ramsey mansion on 
Exchange street. 

The active duties of Governor Ramsey's life having 
been well completed, his last days were spent in quietness 
and contemplation in his home in St. Paul. There he 
was tenderly cared for by his daughter and grandchil- 
dren, until death called him, on April 22, 1903. 
His body lay in state in the capitol, and a multitude of 
his fellow citizens, of all classes of society, came to show 
him the last possible honor. He is buried in the Oak- 
land Cemetery, that beautiful home of the dead, whose 
maintenance and improvement had been one of the ob- 
jects of his care during his later years. 

35 



GOVE KNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

The following Proclamation, organizing the Territory 
of Minnesota, was one of the most important documents 
ever signed by Alexander Ramsey. It was published in 
The Minnesota Pioneer, June 7, 1849 : 

TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: 

Whereas, by an Act of Congress of the United States 
of America entitled "An Act to Establish the Territorial 
Government of Minnesota," approved March 3, 1849, a true 
copy whereof is hereto annexed, a government was erected 
over all the country described in said act, to be called "the 
Territory of Minnesota;" and whereas, the following named 
officers have been duly appointed and commissioned under 
the said act as officers of said government, viz: 

Alexander Ramsey, Governor of said territory and com- 
mander-in-chief of the militia thereof, and superintendent 
of Indian affairs therein; Charles K. Smith, secretary of 
said territory; Aaron Goodrich, chief justice, and David 
Cooper and Bradley B. Meeker, associate justices of the 
supreme court of said territory; Joshua L. Taylor, marshal 
of the United States of said territory; Henry L. Moss, 
attorney of the United States for said territory. 

And said officers having assumed the duties of their 
said offices according to law, said territorial government is 
declared to be organized and established, and all persons 
are enjoined to obey, conform to and respect the laws 
hereof accordingly. 

Given under my hand and the seal of said territory, at 
St. Paul, this first day of June, A. D. 1849, and of the 
Independence of the United States of America the seventy- 
third. 

ALEX. RAMSEY. 

By the Governor : 

CHARLES K. SMITH, Secretary. 

t Ramsey's first message to the Territorial Legislature, 

September 4, 1849/ was published in pages 7-18 of the 

Journal of the Council during the first session of the 

legislative assembly of the territory of Minnesota (St. 

Paul, 1850). Below are given a few extracts from it: 

■ Our territory, judging from the experience of the few 
months since public attention was called to its many ad- 
vantages, will settle rapidly. Nature has done much for 

36 



ALEX AX DEE BA1ISEY. 

us. Our productive soil and salubrious climate will bring 
thousands of immigrants within our borders; it is of the 
utmost moment that the foundations of our legislation 
should be healthful and solid. A knowledge of this fact 
will encourage tens of thousands of others to settle in our 
midst; and it may not be long ere we may with truth be 
recognized throughout the political and the moral world, as 
indeed the "polar star" of the republican galaxy. 

Thus you will see, gentlemen, that yours is a most 
interesting and responsible position, and that in your hands, 
more than in that of any future Legislative Assembly, will 
be the "destinies of Minnesota." 



Next in importance, toward facilitating the settlement 
of the territory, I would rank the purchase of the Sioux 
Indian country, west of the Mississippi river, from the 
Iowa line north to the Watab river, which is the south 
boundary of the Winnebago country; adding as the western 
boundary of such purchase a line drawn due south from 
the lake at the head of Long Prairie river. This extensive, 
rich, and salubrious region would open new inducements 
for the enterprise of our countrymen; for it is considered 
equal in soil to any portion of the valley of the Mississippi, 
and in healthfulness is probably superior to any part of 
the Americon continent. It is known to be rich in minerals 
as in soil; is sufficiently timbered, being traversed for one 
hundred miles on its western border by a hard-wood forest 
some forty miles in width; is watered by some of the finest 
rivers of the North-West, such as the Minnesota or St. 
Peter's, the Blue Earth, the Osakis, the Root river, and 
others; and is bespangled by beautiful lakes in every direc- 
tion. To the eye of the observer, it presents an agreeable 
mingling of high rolling prairies and gentle slopes; wooded 
hill-tops, luxuriant natural meadows, and abundance of the 
purest water; and I feel a conviction that this country, 
once thrown open for settlement, would be peopled with a 
rapidity exceeding anything in the history of western colon- 
ization. I would therefore press strongly upon the Legisla- 
tive Assembly the expediency of memorializing Congress 
upon the subject. 



The preservation by a community of materials for the 
composition of its history, when a future time shall require 
it to be written, is a task not without its uses; and when 
early commenced, easily accomplished; and as newspapers 
are the day-books of history, as well as semi-official records 
in many cases, I deem it not improper to recommend to the 
Assembly the propriety of authorizing and requiring the 

37 



GOVEHlSrOES OF MINNESOTA. 

territorial secretary, or the librarian, to subscribe for and 
preserve in a durable form, a copy of each and every 
newspaper that may be published in the territory. Thus 
much that is interesting in the fleeting registers of the 
day, and which, in years to come, will be esteemed rich 
mines for the historian, can be saved for satisfactory refer- 
ence and future information. 

The message of Governor Eamsey at the opening of 
the second territorial legislature, delivered January 7, 

1851, is published in the Journal of the Council, 1851, 
pages 11-21. 

The message to the third territorial legislature, Jan- 
uary 14, 1852, is found in the Journal of the Council, 

1852, pages 18-28. 

Ramsey's last message as territorial governor was de- 
livered on January 27, 1853, and is printed in the Jour- 
nal of the Council during the fourth session of the legis- 
lative assembly, 1853, pages 29-37. The following para- 
graphs are found near its close : 

In concluding this my last annual message, permit me 
to observe that it is now a little over three years and six 
months since it was my happiness to first land upon the 
soil of Minnesota. Not far from where we now are, a 
dozen framed houses, not all completed, and some eight or 
ten small log buildings, with bark roofs, constituted the capi- 
tal of the new territory over whose destiny I had been 
commissioned to preside. One county, a remnant from Wis- 
consin territorial organization, alone afforded the ordinary 
facilities for the execution of the laws; and in and around 
its seat of justice resided the bulk of our scattered popula- 
tion. Within this single county were embraced all the lands 
white men were privileged to till; while between them and 
the broad rich hunting grounds of untutored savages rolled, 
like Jordan through the Promised Land, the River of- Rivers, 
here as majestic in its northern youth as in its more south- 
ern maturity. Emphatically new and wild appeared every- 
thing to the in -comers from older communities; and a not 
least novel feature of the scene was the motley humanity 
partially filling these streets — the blankets and painted faces 
of Indians, and the red sashes and moccasins of French 

38 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

Voyageurs and half-breeds, greatly predominating over the 
less picturesque costume of the Anglo-American race. But 
even while strangers yet looked, the elements of a mighty- 
change were working, and civilization with its hundred arms 
was commencing its resistless and beneficent empire. To my 
lot fell the honorable duty of taking the initial step in this 
work by proclaiming, on the 1st of June, 1849, the organiza- 
tion of the territorial government, and consequent extension 
of the protecting arm of law over these distant regions. 
Since that day, how impetuously have events crowded time. 
The fabled magic of the eastern tale that renewed a palace in 
a single night, only can parallel our reality of growth and 
progress. 



* * * Man in the present age disdains the ancient 
limits to his career; and in this country, especially, all pre- 
cedents of human progress, growth of states, and march of 
empires, are set aside by an impetuous originality of action, 
which is at once both fact and precedent. Doubtless on over- 
ruling Providence, for inscrutable purposes, has decreed to the 
American nation this quicker transition from the wilderness 
of nature to the maturity of social enjoyments — this shorter 
probation between the bud and the green tree of empire; and 
it well becomes us, therefore, in our gratulations upon present 
prosperity, and in our speculations upon greater power and 
happiness in the early future, to render humble yet fervent 
thanks "unto Him who holdeth nations in the hollow of His 
hand," and shapes out the destinies of every people. 

The inaugural address by Ramsey as governor of 
the state, January 2, I860, is published in the Journal of 
the House of Representatives, second legislature of the 
state of Minnesota (St. Paul, 1860), pages 163-183; and 
in the Journal of the Senate, 1860, pages 113-133. It 
was also printed as a separate pamphlet of twenty-three 
pages, entitled "Inaugural Message of Governor Ramsey 
to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State 
of Minnesota" (St. Paul, 1860). 

Governor Ramsey's second message to the state leg- 
islature, January 9th, 1861, is the first paper (thirty-one 
pages) in the Executive Documents of the State of Min- 

39 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

nesota for the year 1860 (St. Paul 1861). In the clos- 
ing part of this message he spoke of the restriction of 
slavery and the danger of civil war, as follows: 

One demand is the restoration in effect of the line of 
restriction, known as the Missouri Compromise line. But great 
objections to this concession are, that the entire South once 
declared themselves dissatisfied with it, and that the really dis- 
affected will not accept it today. Their demands are, briefly, a 
slave code for the territories, and a recognition of slaves as 
property by the free states. We cannot believe that such de- 
mands are made in good faith. They seem to have been devised 
purposely to receive rejection which might be alleged as a rea- 
son for a contemplated revolution. Such demands are entirely 
new. Even in the formation of the Constitution of the United 
States it was not thought proper to admit the idea of property 
in man. Can we now be expected to grant what the slave states 
of that day thought it was not proper to ask? Such a thing as 
a slave code has no precedent in our history. Precisely the con- 
trary — Congressional interdiction of slavery in the territories — 
has many, both old and more recent. 

But whatever concession or compromise might otherwise be 
made, the present treasonable position of one of the Southern 
States, and the menacing attitude of others, the war already 
levied upon the United States by the seizure of government 
property by armed men professedly hostile to United States 
authority, demand, first the assertion of the rights of the na- 
tion, and next the recognition of the principle that existing 
constitutional agreements are to be maintained, and that, sub- 
ject to the Constitution, the majority shall rule, and the min- 
ority must submit. After this is well settled we can with 
honor and security discuss the question of new compro- 
mises. * * * 

It is therefore clear in my opinion that the nation must 
vindicate itself and establish again obedience to the constitu- 
tional agreements and compromises, through all the length and 
breadth of the land. 

We are gathered from all the states of the Union and 
almost all civilized nations of the world. We can have no 
narrow or sectional feeling. Our interests equally forbid un- 
generous or selfish views. We are a young state, not yet 
very numerous or powerful, but we are for the Union as it is, 
and the Constitution as it is. We hope, we expect no frater- 
nal war. The blessings of the Union, representation in Con- 
gress, the benefits of the postal system, the honors to be won 
in the various departments of national service, these every 
state may participate in, but it is unnecessary to force them 
upon an unwilling people. But the territory, the forts, the 

40 



ALEX ANDES B A M S E Y. 

arsenals, the dock-yards, public buildings, ships of war, revenue 
cutters, and the revenue, these belong to the whole nation, 
and these the nation can hardly relinquish with honor. 

Such I believe to be the sentiment of the whole people of 
our state, and it may be well for the legislature now assembled, 
by some solemn act, in fitting terms to express our undivided 
attachment to the Constitution and the Union of our fathers 
and our willingness to contribute whatever of moral or material 
influence we have to preserve them, now and forever, one and 
inseparable. 

The third annual message of Governor Ramsey to the 
state legislature of Minnesota, delivered January 9th, 
1862, forms thirty-two pages at the beginning of the 
Executive Documents of the State of Minnesota for the 
year 1861 (St. Paul, 1862). In this message he gave 
the following approval of the establishment of the na- 
tional banking system. 

* * * Our experience, in common with that of all the 
Western States, has prepared us to receive with unanimous 
favor the excellent suggestions of the secretary of the United 
States treasury, looking to the issue of treasury notes upon 
the credit of the United States, to be used under proper restric- 
tions for banking purposes, by responsible parties agreeing to 
their redemption. This scheme, if adopted, will probably solve 
the difficult problem of Western banking. 

It will furnish an unimpeachable currency of equal value 
everywhere, and besides the manifest advantages of a uniform 
and familiar medium of circulation over the endless and per- 
plexing variety of issues now current, it promises a final re- 
lief from the recurrence of the enormous losses which are now 
suffered by our people, with the periodical explosion of the 
banks. 

Concerning the state school fund to accrue from sales 
or leases of the public school lands, he said: 

A just and liberal spirit ought to pervade all the laws 
enacted for the sale or rent of the school lands; alike without 
invidious discrimination against one class, or in favor of an- 
other. If the provisions of the present law bear unequally upon 
the lessees, they might perhaps be so modified as to remedy 
cases of individual hardships. But this should be done with a 
strict view to the paramount public interest involved. It is ob- 

41 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

. vious that if any considerable school fund is to be realized to 
the state, for a number of years, the utmost circumspection 
must be observed, in the disposition of the class of lands which 
have now reached a respectable value. 

My own views upon this subject have been urged at so 
great length heretofore, that it is unnecessary to repeat them. 
But I should be unfaithful to a strong conviction of duty, if 
I failed to inculcate once more upon the representatives of the 
people the necessity of the most rigid and scrupulous guardi- 
anship of the sacred trust which the Constitution confides to 
you in the management of the school lands, and to admonish 
you against any attempts disguised under any pretext, to in- 
duce you to sacrifice the interests of the school fund. 

On account of the Sioux outbreak, which began 
August 18, 1862, an extra session of the legislature was 
called by Governor Kamsey. His message, delivered on 
the first day of the session, September 9, was printed as 
a pamphlet of twenty-four pages and also as the first 
paper (fifteen pages) in the Executive Documents of the 
State of Minnesota for the year 1862. It was devoted 
almost entirely to a history of the outbreak, the means he 
had employed to check it, and recommendations of fur- 
ther action by the legislature. The following are ex- 
tracts from it: 

The circumstances of this outbreak give it an aspect of 
wanton malignity and perfidy scarcely paralleled, if at all, 
even in the tragic annals of Indian crime. 



The outbreak of the Sioux occurred at a time when we 
were little prepared in many respects to meet so sudden an 
emergency. Fortunately, we had just raised a considerable part 
of the new levies ordered by the President. But most of these 
were farmers taken from the thick of the pending harvest, and 
had enlisted on the promise of a furlough to the first of 
September to secure their crops, and so large a part of the 
volunteers were absent at the time, that the forces sent had 
to be made up of fragments of different companies and regi- 
ments. 

A still more serious embarrassment was felt at the outset 
from the want of arms and ammunition. Application was, how- 

42 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

ever, immediately made by telegraph to Washington, St. Louis, 
and the governors of adjoining states, and in addition to sup- 
plies received from regular sources, I am much indebted to 
the governor of Wisconsin for a prompt response to my re- 
• quest for cartridges. 



It is estimated that five hundred persons of every age and 
sex perished, and worse than perished, by the hands of these 
remorseless butchers in the course of the two or three days 
succeeding the outbreak, before their progress was checked by 
our forces; and hundreds of them lie yet unburied where they 
fell, hidden in the grass and bushes of prairies and ravines. 
Many, doubtless, in the attempt to escape, have become lost, 
or fainting from exhaustion and terror have died from starva- 
tion. 



Onr course then is plain. The Sioux Indians of Minnesota 
must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of 
the state. 

The public safety imperatively requires it. Justice calls for 
it. Humanity itself, outraged by their unutterable atrocities, 
demands it. The blood of the murdered cries to Heaven for 
vengeance on these assassins of women and children. They 
have themselves made their annihilation an imperative neces- 
sity. Faithless to solenm treaty obligations, to old friendships, 
to the ties of blood, regardless even of self interest when it 
conflicts with their savage passions, incapable of honor, of truth 
or of gratitude; amenable to no law; bound by no moral or so- 
cial restraints — they have already destroyed, in one monstrous 
act of perfidy, every pledge on which it was possible to found 
-a hope of ultimate reconciliation. 

They must be regarded and treated as outlaws. If any 
shall escape extinction, the wretched remnant must be driven 
beyond our borders and our frontier garrisoned with a force 
sufficient to forever prevent their return. 

On January 7, 1863, Ramsey delivered his last an- 
nual message as governor. It was published as a paper 
of thirty-two pages in the Executive Documents of the 
State of Minnesota for the Year 1862. A few passages 
from it are as follows: 

It is a source of excusable pride, we trutt, to every Min- 
nesotian that his state, which in 1850 had a population of only 
5,000, should, within the last few months, have been able to 
furnish the federal government with an army of 12,000 men, 

43 



GOVERJSTOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

while at the same time she unaided crushed out the most form- 
idable Indian uprising known in history. 

Can we over-estimate the future of such a people? 



Amid the gloom which has during the past year enshrouded 
our distracted country, and the scenes of savage carnage which 
have devastated the fairest portions of our own state, it is, 
at least, some consolation for us to know that Minnesota has 
continued promptly to respond to the demands of the nation; 
that in these days of our peril the work of recruiting has 
never flagged; that while the scalping knife of the savage was 
destroying their loved ones at home, that while their burning 
cottages were lighting up the midnight hour, her sons have 
followed their banner to the front, upon the banks of the Po- 
tomac, or met a soldier's death upon the victorious fields of the 
Southwest, and their gallant exploits have won for our state 
an imperishable name. 

We may almost say, that today the sun in his course 
shines upon no American bondsman. By the Proclamation of 
the President, the shackles have fallen from the limbs of nearly 
every slave. 

For the first time in the history of the American Republic, 
we are in deed, as we long have been in name, a nation of 
freemen. 

Other addresses, reports, and papers by Ramsey are 
as follows: 

Eeports to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, by 
Luke Lea and Alexander Ramsey, dated at Mendota, 
Minnesota territory, August 6, 1851, transmitting treaties 
with the Sioux Indians, and by Governor Ramsey, dated 
at St. Paul, November 7, 1851, transmitting a treaty 
with the Chippewas at Pembina; published in Executive 
Documents of the Senate of the United States, first ses- 
sion of the Thirty-second Congress, Volume III, forming 
respectively pages 278-284 and 284-288 (Washington, 
1852). 

Inaugural Address as mayor of St. Paul, published 
in the Daily Minnesota Pioneer, April 12, 1855. 

44 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY. 

Address delivered at the Second Annual Territorial 
Fair, in Minneapolis, October 8-10, 1856; published as 
a pamphlet of twenty-two pages (St. Paul, 1857). 

Address delivered at the Grand Celebration in the 
City of St. Paul, September 1, 1858, in commemoration 
of the laying of the Atlantic telegraph cable; published 
in a pamphlet of twenty-two pages (St. Paul, 1858), the 
address of Governor Ramsey being in pages 12-16. 

Address in the United State Senate, on a Bill to 
amend the Postal Laws, delivered February 11, 1867; 
published in the Congressional Globe, second session, 
Thirty -ninth Congress, pages 1145-6. 

Address in the United States Senate, introducing 
Memorial Resolutions in honor of Daniel Norton, de- 
livered January 24, 1871 (Congressional Globe, third 
session, Forty-first Congress, page 694). 

Report of the Secretary of War (House of Repre- 
sentatives, Forty-sixth Congress, third session, Ex. Doc. 
1, Part 2), in four volumes. The report of Governor 
Ramsey, as secretary of this department, dated November 
19, 1880, forms pages iii-xxvii in Volume I. 

First and Second Reports of the Utah Commission, 
dated August 31, 1882, and November 17, 1882; pub- 
lished in the Report of the Secretary of the Interior, sec- 
ond session, Forty-seventh Congress, pages 1003-1005 
and 1005-1009 (Washington, 1882). 

The following papers, read by Ramsey before the 
Minnesota Historical Society, are published in its series 
of Historical Collections : 

45 



GOV EE NOES OP MINNESOTA. 

Our Field of Historical Eesearch, an address at the 
Annual Meeting of the Society, January 13, 1851 (Vol- 
ume I, 1872; pages 43-52, 1902, pages 25-32). 

The Origin and Growth of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, an address at its annual meeting, January 13, 
1896 (Volume VIII, pages 41-44). 

Address at the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniver- 
sary of the Organization of the Minnesota Historical So- 
ciety, November 15, 1899 (Volume IX, pages 555-558). 



46 










WILLIS A. GORMAN. 



WILLIS ARNOLD GORMAN 

Second Territorial Governor, was born 
near Flemingsburg, Kentucky, January 
12, 1816, and died in St. Paul, Minnesota, 
May 20, 1876. He was a lawyer; served 
in the Mexican War and the Civil War; 
and was breveted brigadier-general. 



WILLIS ARNOLD GORMAN 

SECOND TERRITORIAL GOVERNOR 

May 15, 1853, to April 23, 1857 



THE honored subject of this sketch was a man 
who in his time played many parts, a soldier, a 
statesman, a lawyer, and a model citizen. An irrever- 
sible judgment has been pronounced upon the record of 
his life, and his imperfections were so few and his vir- 
tues so many that we give him a position in that temple 
of honor consecrated to men only of lofty character. 

Willis Arnold Gorman was of Irish descent, the only 
son of David L. and Elizabeth Gorman, and one of two 
children. He was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, 
near Flemingsburg, January 12, 1816. His parents 
removed to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1835, where in the 
Indiana University, as he had received a good primary 
and academic education, he at once applied himself to 
the study of law. He graduated at the law school con- 
nected with the university at the early age of twenty. 
He had many difficulties to encounter, but made a suc- 
cess of his profession from the beginning, when he de- 
fended a man charged with murder and won an un- 
expected victory. 
4 49 



GOVEKNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

In January, 1836, he married Miss Martha Stone, 
a daughter of Ellis Stone, an honored citizen of Monroe 
county, Indiana, He gradually won a fine position at 
the bar, and his natural ability and growing popularity 
seemed to open the door for a public career. He was 
first elected to the legislature at the early age of twenty- 
three, and gave such satisfaction that he was elected 
five times in succession. 

At this period the Mexican War broke out, and he 
could not repress his patriotic spirit, but volunteered 
at once as a private in the Third Indiana Volunteers, 
and was elected a major, June, 1846. James H. Lane, 
afterward United States senator from Kansas, was his 
colonel. This regiment rendered signal service and won 
great fame at the battle of Buena Yista. It is said that 
under the direct order of General Taylor he made so vig- 
orous an attack on the enemy's flank as to materially aid 
in winning the victory. Every fourth man in Major 
Gorman's battalion of five hundred was either killed or 
wounded. During this battle, the Major's horse was shot 
from under him and fell in a deep ravine, and the fall 
severely injured the Major, but he never abandoned his 
command till the enemy fled. 

In May, 1847, the term of the enlistment of his bat- 
talion expired, and ,the regiment returned home with 
abundant laurels, and Major Gorman immediately began 
the organization of the Fourth Indiana regiment, of 
which he was unanimously elected colonel. This regi- 
ment participated in a number of battles, in which he 
50 



WILLIS AKXOLD GORMAN. 

won the reputation of a dashing and gallant officer. He 
served with eminent distinction and returned to In- 
diana at the close of the war. 

In August, 1849, he was chosen to represent his 
district in Congress, which position he filled for two 
terms. While in Congress he displayed great readiness 
and versatility in debate, and on the slavery question 
then agitating the country, he distinguished himself for 
the clearness of his views and the force and eloquence 
with which they were presented. 

When Franklin Pierce became president, in 1853, he 
appointed Colonel Gorman governor of the then terri- 
tory of Minnesota. 

He reached St. Paul May 13, 1853, and two days 
afterward took possession of his office. Thenceforth his 
history became identified with the growth and develop- 
ment of the territory and state of Minnesota, He did 
not come to our territory, like Medary, as a bird of pas- 
sage; but he came to stay, and to share our hopes and 
destiny. Shields, one of the first United States sen- 
ators of Minnesota, was a politician, floating around 
among. new territories and states, to see what good things 
could be picked up, and, if he failed, he would fly to 
pastures new. But permanence was the purpose of Gor- 
man, and he entered at once into the study of those 
things which made for the general welfare of the ter- 
ritory. In his last message he pledged the people that 
lie would remain in the territory and future state as a 
permanent citizen. 

51 



GOVEBNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

Governor Gorman, with his experience in Indiana 
as a politician, his fine personal appearance, his earnest 
and impressive manner, his gifts as a public speaker, 
speedily ingratiated himself into the public notice, and 
was accounted a leader in territorial politics. While 
he took great interest in inducing the building of rail- 
ways, he was firm in protecting the people's rights, and 
recommended that in the distribution of the land grants 
the state should receive at least three per cent, of the 
gross earnings in lieu of general taxation. There is no 
doubt but that the present system of three per cent, of 
tax upon the gross income of the railways of the state 
is owing largely to the firmness and wisdom of Governor 
Gorman. It was during the contests growing out of 
these land grants that a stranger came to the governor's 
office, and made the attempt to offer him a bribe of a 
very considerable sum of money if he would suffer a 
certain railroad bill to become a law. With flaming eyes 
and vehement language the Governor ejected him from 
the executive chamber. 

The only instance in which Governor Gorman seem- 
ed to permit personal interests to sway his judgment, 
was in the matter of the removal of the state capital 
from St. Paul to St. Peter, for it developed in the his- 
tory of that celebrated contest that the Governor was one 
of the leading stockholders in the St. Peter company. 
In the Joe Eolette episode, a bill that had passed by a 
very narrow majority, having for its object the removal 
of the state capital from St. Paul to St. Peter, was 

52 



\Y 1 L L IS A R X L D GO R M A N. 

spirited away by this Pembina member, and failed to be- 
come a law. All this occurred during Gorman's admin- 
istration, and the success of the movement depended 
wholly upon the governor's known willingness to sign 
the bill. The services of Joe Rolette to St. Paul in the 
eventful crisis will never be forgotten by the people of 
that city. 

During his entire administration, Governor Gor- 
man made it a point to deal justly and fairly with the 
Indian population of the territory. He made several 
important treaties with the savages, with perfect peace 
and harmony, and entire satisfaction to the government. 
He was, ex officio, the general superintendent of the sev- 
eral tribes, and disbursed for their benefit more than a 
million dollars during his term of office, without the In- 
dians losing a dollar, and no charge was ever made that 
any of the moneys went astray. His personal integrity 
was without blemish. In 1853, he accomplished the re- 
moval of the Sioux bands from their possessions oppo- 
site St. Paul to their new homes at Redwood and Yel- 
low Medicine, as provided by treaty, without conflict or 
disturbance, a most difficult and delicate task requiring 
consummate skill and tact. 

In 1857, his term of office having expired, he re- 
sumed the practice of law in St. Paul with much success. 
June 1st, of that year, the election of delegates to the 
constitutional convention was held, and Governor Gor- 
man was elected from St. Paul, and took an active part 
in the exciting deliberations of that body. During the 

53 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

session of the legislature of 1857 he was a candidate for 
the Senate of the United States, but was apparently de- 
feated by the unfortunate division in his party. In the 
fall of 1859, he was elected to the legislature, but the 
governor declined to* call that body together. 

The presidential election of 1860 was now approach- 
ing, in which Governor Gorman took a most active part, 
canvassing every portion of the state, and championing 
the claims of his personal friend, Stephen A. Douglas. 
He was a vigorous and eloquent stump speaker, and wid- 
ened his influence and popularity by his efficient' work. 

Prior to the breaking out of the Civil War, and 
when secession was threatened, he promptly announced 
himself as an unqualified unionist. "When Sumter fell, 
April 14, 1861, a meeting of the citizens of St. Paul 
was called, and Governor Gorman, in a most stirring 
and fervid appeal to the people, did much to give a 
tone and patriotic direction to public sentiment. 

At this moment, Alexander Ramsey, the governor of 
the state, was in Washington on executive business, and 
on Sunday morning he called on President Lincoln and 
made tender of a Minnesota regiment for the common 
defense, being the first of the loyal governors to tender 
troops for the preservation of the Union. Governor 
Ramsey at once sent a dispatch to Lieutenant Governor 
Donnelly, instructing him to forthwith issue a call for 
the services of a regiment of infantry, which call was 
Issued Tuesday, the 16th of April. Business was for the 
time suspended, and political ties seemed obliterated. 

54 



WILLIS ARNOLD GOEMAK 

This historic First regiment was mustered at Fort 
Snelling April 29, 1861. Governor Ramsey was pres- 
ent at the muster, and immediately announced the field 
officers, and Willis A. Gorman was colonel. 

On May 1st Colonel German was presented with a 
handsome sword by Major W. I. Cullen, of St. Paul. 
On May 14, the numerous friends of Colonel Gorman 
presented to him a large and serviceable war horse, with 
an elegant equipment. On May 24, the ladies of St. 
Paul, by the hands of Mrs. Anna B. Ramsey, the accom- 
plished wife of the Governor, presented the regiment 
with a fine flag. On the morning of the 3d of July, 
1861, one thousand Minnesota soldiers, with hostile in- 
tent, under command of Colonel Gorman, passed over 
the Potomac and trod the "sacred soil" of old Virginia, 
and entered upon that illustrious career which crowned 
them with laurels second to none in that mighty con- 
test. 

Colonel Gorman was ordered to join General Mc- 
Dowell's command, and was in the battle of the first 
Bull Run, where the regiment displayed conspicuous gal- 
lantry. On returning to Washington, Colonel Gorman 
was placed in command of a brigade, and on the recom- 
mendation of General Scott on the 17th of September fol- 
lowing, by reason of his gallant conduct at the battle of 
Bull Run, he was made a brigadier general, October 1, 
1861. This ended his direct connection with the First 
Minnesota regiment. October 22 following, his brigade 
took part in the battle of Ball's Bluff, and in that cam- 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

paign the First regiment was in Gorman's brigade. It 
was in this unfortunate battle that Gen. E. D. Baker 
was killed, while gallantly fighting, and he fell not far 
from Gorman's brigade. 

The following spring, General Gorman's brigade 
was with the advance column headed for Richmond by 
way of the Peninsula. It was on this march that he 
experienced an attack of malarial fever which compelled 
his return to Washington. Recovering from his illness, 
after Pope's disastrous campaign, he joined General 
McClellan's column in its march to intercept Lee, when 
that officer invaded Maryland, which resulted in the bat- 
tles of South Mountain and Antietam, in both of which 
Gorman participated. General Gorman next won high 
commendation for his efficient conduct in the battle of 
Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. 

About this time General Gorman was transferred to 
an important command in the West. He parted com- 
pany with the "Old First" with profound regret; indeed, 
the regret was mutual, and this .esteem ever remained. 
From the beginning he was indefatigable in drilling and 
preparing it for service and urging it on to high ideals. 
Judge William Lochren, a very excellent authority, says: 
"Perhaps the regiment never would have become all 
that it was, but for the influence of Gorman, which re- 
mained after he left it and to the end, and was seen in 
its charge at Gettysburg, as in its unyielding attitude in 
earlier battles." 



56 



WILLIS ARNOLD GORMAN. 

By virtue of the transfer referred to, he assumed 
command of a military division in Arkansas with head- 
quarters at Helena. Here his duties were as much 
civil as military. His aim seemed to be to subordinate 
the military to the civil law. He established a sort of 
court of civil jurisdiction, which was ordered to proceed 
according to the form of the common law. Lawlessness 
was suppressed, and stability was thus given to all busi- 
ness interests. 

In the latter part of 1864, after nearly four years 
of active service, with honor to himself and credit to 
his state, he bade adieu to military life and sought rest 
and recuperation in private life. 

In 1864 he returned to his home in St. Paul and 
soon formed a partnership with the Hon C. K. Davis, 
later United States senator. This intimacy subsisted 
for many years, General Gorman giving special atten- 
tion to the criminal branch of his profession. He was, 
in 1869, elected city attorney, which office he held for 
six successive terms, to the entire satisfaction of the 
people of the whole city. 

General Gorman was primarily a lawyer. As a pro- 
fessional man, his capacity, skill, and legal attainments 
have been celebrated by a better pen than mine. "In 
his profession he had no superior as an advocate. His 
devotion to a client knew no bounds, and he brought 
to the trial of any case in which he engaged, resources 
and tact which made him a most dangerous antagonist." 1 



^on. C. K. Davis, in Minnesota Historical Society Collec- 
tions, Vol. Ill, page 331. 

57 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

It remains to speak of General Gorman as a private 
man and a citizen. He was in every respect exemplary 
and amiable. His disposition was kind and affection- 
ate. Brave in action and at times rough in manner, yet 
lie was at heart tender as a woman. He had a strong 
sense of moral and religious duty, and was a sincere and 
devoted Catholic, As we review his life, we see how 
perfectly immaterial are the blemishes which were fre- 
quently charged to his account. We see, too, how many 
were the virtues which adorned his well spent years. 
To women he was ever profoundly respectful and ehival- 
ric, which is the mark of a true gentleman. His whole 
personal conduct was marked by independence and ster- 
ling honesty. He never was controlled by any clique, 
nor accused of being the tool of any ring. Whatever 
came to him in the line of duty, to that he gave the 
most intense devotion. In his domestic life he was 
sweet and lovable. His hospitable home was the abode 
of the most charming social life, and the writer can 
never forget the many delightful hours spent at his fire- 
side. 

We cannot close this estimate of General Gorman 
without quoting from his friend and partner, Cushman 
K. Davis, his last eulogistic words touching his dead 
friend : 

"It is one of the facts to which we cannot reconcile 
ourselves, that the force of such personal examples as his, 
perishes so soon. Nothing is permanent but the perma- 
nency of change; and the sure and saddening change in 
58 



WILLIS AENOLD GORMAK 

which a good man disappears, and shortly after his mem- 
ory and his works go after him, 'Like a dream of the 
shadow of smoke/ seems to us who look with finite vis- 
ion, like uncompensated loss. Let us protect him and 
his memory, as far as we may, against the inevitable 
resolution of all things into dim forgetfulness. Assur- 
ing ourselves that in our time we shall not see, fortu- 
nate will those who come after us be if they can 
possess as a companion so brave, so faithful, so spotless 
a man as Willis Arnold Gorman." 

General Gorman was twice married. His first wife 
was Miss Martha Stone, of Bloomington, Indiana. She 
was a most admirable lady, and possessed of great social 
qualities. To this union there were five children as fol- 
lows: K. F. Gorman, the eldest, so favorably known in 
St. Paul, and long the clerk of the Board of Public 
Works; James W. Gorman, who was assistant adjutant 
general on the General's staff from September, 1862, 
till the date of his death at Indianapolis, February 19, 
1863, from disease contracted in the service; Louisa G., 
wife of Harvey Officer, Esq., of St. Paul, who died 
March 4, 1870; E. S. Gorman, attorney at law in St. 
Paul; and Martha B., now Mrs. Wood, residing at Evans- 
ville, Indiana. The noble mother of these children died 
March 1, 1864, at Bloomington, Ind., the home of her 
childhood, where she was visiting during the absence of 
the General with his military command. He was subse- 
quently married to Miss Emily Wewington, April 27, 



59 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

1865. This estimable lady survived her' husband, and of 
this union there was no issue. 

General Gorman died May 20, 1876, at his resi- 
dence in St. Paul. His mind was clear to the last, and 
he died surrounded by his family and friends. The flags 
on all city and state buildings were hoisted at half mast, 
for his death was regarded as a public calamity. His 
funeral cortege was, to that period, the most imposing 
the city had seen. The funeral was attended by seventy 
lawyers of the city, with the judges of the supreme and 
district courts and the court of common pleas. A com- 
pany of the 20th United States Infantry from Fort 
Snelling, with the full regimental band, was present. 
The mayor, the council, and all the city officers, veter- 
ans of the Mexican War, and many members of the old 
Minnesota First, the members of Acker Post of the 
Grand Army of the Republic, the governor and other 
state officers, — all these were part of the procession 
which filled the ample Cathedral. A most tender and 
eloquent funeral discourse was delivered by that distin- 
guished prelate, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Ireland, from those 
well known words, "It is appointed unto man once to 
die, and after death the judgment." The remains were 
deposited in Oakland Cemetery, in the beautiful family 
lot, covered with floral offerings, and the 20th United 
States Infantry discharged three volleys over the grave 
of one whose character and service to his state will stand 
as a monument when that of granite shall have crumbled 
away, 
60 



WILLIS ARNOLD G OH MAN. 



/ 



The first message of Governor Gorman to the 
territorial legislature January 11, 1854, was published in- 
pages 25-34 of the Journal of the Council during the 
fifth session of the legislative assembly (St. Paul, 1854). 
Tn this message he said: 

The maxim that "that government is best which governs 
least," has much wise admonition to a state in its infancy. The 
laws for the government of a plain republican people should 
be few, simple, and with uniform application to every section 
of the country, and bearing alike upon all, leaving to each in- 
dividual the largest liberty consistent with the good of the 
whole. Capital always comes forward with the largest demands 
upon the legislator, whilst labor is more humble in its pre- 
tentions, and stands yet far more in need of your fostering 
care. I hope we may all profit by an occasional recurrence to 
those great principles, which lie at the foundation of all legis- 
lation. Therefore, should it be your pleasure, during the pres- 
ent session, to incorporate companies for the development of 
our resources, I recommend that they be so guarded, with . 
restrictions, as to keep them constantly under the control of 
the people's representatives. Population and commerce will com- 
mand capital, and without the aid of legislative protection, 
that capital, concentrated, will command power enough for all 
legitimate purposes. 

The message to the legislature in its sixth session, 
delivered January 18, 1855, is in the Journal of the 
Council, pages 31-43. Governor Gorman in this message 
recommended that the attractions of Minnesota for new 
settlers should be made known more widely, as follows: 

Sound political economy has taught us that population is 
the basis of wealth and greatness. It is therefore the duty 
of the law-making power to so frame the political institutions 
of government as most certainly to secure it. Our agricultural, 
mineral and manufacturing resources are so abundant that 
Minnesota needs no utopian pictures to be drawn to entice to 
our territory either population, capital, or commerce. We need 
only a true history of our broad fertile prairies, our woods, 
lakes, rivers, minerals, pineries, water power and navigatibn, to 
tempt capital in abundance, and direct emigration to where 
they can find enough of those advantages combined to satisfy 
the enterprising of all classes and countries. We need not stop 

61 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

to inquire why it is that thousands of our fathers, brothers, 
and friends, can content themselves to stick to the worn out 
and comparatively barren soil of the old states, rather than 
seek a home in this invigorating and healthy climate and fer- 
tile soil. They will soon find out our facilities for wealth and 
comfort when we take steps to advertise them. I would, there- 
fore, as the first step to this end, recommend that you take 
into consideration, at the earliest day convenient, the propriety 
of appointing an emigration agent to reside chiefly in the city 
of Hew York, whose duty it shall be to give to the people cor- 
rect information of our territory, its soil, climate, population, 
productions, agricultural, manufacturing and educational facili- 
ties and prospects. * * * 

Gorman's message of January 9, 1856, in the 
Seventh session of the territorial legislature, published in 
pages 1-13 of the Appendix of the Journal of the Coun- 
cil, contains the following: 

It is a source of much satisfaction to observe the laudable 
efforts being made by our people in the cause of literature and 
science, and particularly in the reorganization of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, under circumstances that give the fullest as- 
surance that no effort will be spared to place it upon a basis 
of the most honorable distinction. It will be a matter of much 
interest to the coming generation to have perpetuated the 
monuments of our early history, not only in this territory, but 
for the whole Northwest; and no institution at present promises 
to accomplish so much as this society. It is recommended that 
a small appropriation be made for the purpose of aiding in 
the advancement of these objects. 

The last message of Governor Gorman to the legis- 
lature, delivered January 14, 1857, in its Eighth session, 
was published in the Journal of the Council, pages 21-31, 
and also as a separate pamphlet of 15 pages. The ad- 
mission of Minnesota as a state was recommended by 
many considerations, beginning as follows: 

From sources deemed reliable, I am able to state the pop- 
ulation of the territory at about one hundred and eighty thou- 
sand souls, and I feel justified in saying that this is rather 
under than over the estimate made by many who have taken 
some pains to inform themselves on the subject. 

. 62 



WILLIS ARNOLD GORMAN. 

It is proper to state that the taxable property in the ter- 
ritory amounts to between thirty and thirty-five millions of 
dollars, even at the low rate of assessment made by the officers 
appointed for the purpose. The returns made by twenty -four 
counties show an assessment of twenty-four millions of dol- 
lars. 

In view of our population and wealth, it seems to be a 
matter of necessity that steps be taken to throw off our state 
of dependence on the National Government, and assume the 
mantle of state sovereignty. Even should the most speedy or- 
ganization be made to this end, our population must run up to 
two hundred or two hundred and fifty thousand people, and our 
taxable property reach fifty, or sixty millions of dollars at 
least, before Congress will probably admit us into the 
Union. * * * 



63 




SAMUEL MEDAR¥. 



SAMUEL MEDARY 

Third Territorial Governor, was born in 
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 
February 25, 1801, and died in Colum- 
bus, Ohio, November 7, 1864. He was 
the last governor of Minnesota Terri- 
tory, holding that position until Minne- 
sota was admitted to statehood. 



SAMUEL MEDARY 

THIRD TERRITORIAL GOVERNOR 

April 23, 1857, to May 24, 1858 



THE acquaintance of the writer with Governor 
Medary began in 1855, when just after leaving 
college I became editor of the Scioto Gazette at Chilli- 
cothe, Ohio. Governor Medary was at that time editor 
of the Ohio Statesman. We exchanged papers and also 
exchanged pungent paragraphs, he being a violent Jack- 
sonian Democrat, and I in the chrysalis state, passing 
from a Whig to a Kepublican. In these encounters he 
undoubtedly got the better of me, for he was a skilled 
knight of the quill, and I but a fledgling. Though he 
was a stalwart editor, vehement and caustic, yet person- 
ally he was one of the most agreeable of men, in every 
way genial and lovable. He was at that time easily the 
Nestor of the Ohio press. 

He was succeeded in the editorship of the States- 
man by the Hon. S. S. Cox, .an able man, long in Con- 
gress from the Columbus district, and who was known 
by the sobriquet of "Sunset Cox," a title I had given 
him by reason of a highly wrought and sophomoric edi- 
torial on a flaming sunset after a great storm. 

67 



GOVERNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

Samuel Medary, called "the wheel horse of Ohio 
Democracy," was born in Montgomery Square, Montgom- 
ery county, Pa., February 25, 1801. It has been said 
that the family name was originally spelled Madeira. 
He was the son of Jacob Medary, a respectable farmer. 
His ancestors were Quakers, and he was brought up as 
a Quaker, and it is of record in the family that his 
mother's ancestors emigrated to this county with William 
Penn. 

Samuel Medary was educated at the JSTorristown 
Academy. It is said of him that in his youth he con- 
tributed poetic effusions to the local paper. For awhile 
he taught school and continued his studies in higher 
branches. His family appear to have been unsettled, for 
they removed in 1820 to Montgomery county, Md., and 
three years later to Georgetown, D. C. In 1822 he him- 
self went to Montgomery county, Va., where he was mar- 
ried. In 1826, he settled in Batavia, Clermont county, 
Ohio. At the age of twenty-six, he was made county 
surveyor, school trustee, and afterward county auditor. 
Meantime he learned the trade of a printer. In 1828 
he appears to have entered upon his life work, for he 
established the "Ohio Sun/' and became an enthusiastic 
advocate of General Jackson for the presidency. In 
1834 he was elected to the lower house of the state leg- 
islature, and subsequently to the state senate. His term 
having expired, he removed to Columbus, Ohio, the cap- 
ital of the state, and purchased the "Western Hemis- 
phere/' which in due time was given the name of the 



SAMUEL MEDAEY. 

"Ohio Statesman," and in the columns of this paper lie 
achieved great success. Perhaps no Ohio editor was ever 
better known, or more greatly feared by his enemies than 
was Samuel Medary during the twenty-one years he 
edited that journal. It was a political power always to 
be counted with, not only in Ohio but all the middlt 
states. He was recognized by Jackson as his ablest edi- 
torial supporter, and no editor in the United States en- 
joyed the confidence and personal regard of "Old Hick- 
ory" as did Medary. 

The old political battle cry of "Fifty-four Forty or 
Fight," relative to the Oregon boundary question, orig- 
inated with him. In 1844 he was made chairman of the 
Ohio delegation to the Baltimore convention. The in- 
ternal history of that celebrated convention develops the 
fact that his great friend, General Jackson, had written 
a letter to Mr. Medary asking him, in the event of dis- 
cord, to offer the name of James K. Polk, of Tennessee, 
for the presidency. The hour apparently foretold by 
Jackson came, and when the tumult was at its height, 
Medary produced this letter, and the result was Polk's 
nomination by acclamation. His action in securing 
Polk's nomination by the Jackson letter, resulted in his 
being offered the position of United States minister to 
Chili in 1853, which was declined. 

In 1856, being a delegate to the Cincinnati con- 
vention which nominated James Buchanan for the presi- 
dency, he was made temporary chairman, though he 
strongly advocated the nomination of Stephen A. Doug- 

69 



GOVERNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

las, with whom he had been on terms of intimate per- 
sonal friendship. Subsequently, i^hen Douglas opposed 
Buchanan, a political separation ensued. James Buch- 
anan having been elected president, he appointed Samuel 
Medary of Columbus, Ohio, territorial governor of Min- 
nesota in March, 1857. He succeeded Willis A. Gorman, 
a Democrat, but an appointee of President Pierce, the 
latter not being popular among the Democrats of the 
Northwest. 

Governor Medary arrived in St. Paul on the 22d 
day of April, 1857. He was quietly sworn in as gov- 
ernor at the old capitol building, April 23, and on the 
29th of April, he delivered to the territorial council and 
house of representatives his first message. 

Minnesota was at this period in transition from a 
territorial to a state government. It was also the period 
of the real estate mania. Townsites and paper cities 
were the passion of the hour. One humorous citizen, 
with bitter irony, recommended that a small portion of 
the land be reserved for agriculture and not all be laid 
out in town lots. That same year the bubble of specula- 
tion burst, and almost in a single day the territory drop- 
ped' from the top wave of prosperity into a slough of 
despondency. 

These conditions were not such as to give Medary 
a cordial welcome to his new home. Then also occur- 
red the first state election, though somewhat premature, 
the state not yet being admitted. The entire state, ju- 
dicial, and legislative ticket was elected in October, 1857, 
70 



SAMUEL MBDAKY. 

although the constitution was not accepted and approved 
by Congress till May 11, 1858. None of the state offi- 
cers could qualify till after the formal admission of the 
state. Meantime, Medary was still recognized as gov- 
ernor, though most of the time out of the territory and 
acting through the secretary of the territory, Charles 
L. Chase. 

The passage of the celebrated Five Million Loan 
Bill was of this period, and was approved by Governor 
Medary, through the secretary. The situation was in- 
deed anomalous. The legislature in existence was a 
state legislature, so elected, and it was passing acts ap- 
proved by a territorial governor, the state not being yet 
admitted. A "solemn protest" was entered of record 
against the validity of all acts passed at this session, 
and on the journal of the senate are spread protests and 
resolutions to that effect. It was held that the constitu- 
tion enacted contemplated an admission into the Union 
as a prerequisite to the exercise of any act of state sov- 
ereignty. But the majority held differently and mat- 
ters of legislation proceeded, and no further objection 
was ever raised as to the validity of all acts done under 
this double-headed system, either by Congress or the 
state. It is proper to remark, however, that the question 
of the legality of these laws did reach the territorial 
bench, and Judge Plandrau pronounced them legal. But 
the general situation was unpleasant for the new gov- 
ernor, and was the occasion of his continued absence 
from the capital. The acting governor during the ab- 

71 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

sences of Governor Medary was C. L. Chase, secretary of 
the territory. 

December 11, 1857, Governor Medary issued his 
second and last message to the legislature. It was a 
comprehensive review of the condition of the territory, 
and of the changes necessarily incident to the transition 
from a territorial to a state government. This was the 
period when Minnesota apparently presented the condi- 
tion of having three governors at the same time, — H. H. 
Sibley was governor elect of the yet unadmitted state; 
C. L. Chase, territorial secretary, was acting governor in 
the absence of Medary; and Samuel Medary was de facto 
governor, being in Columbus, Ohio, and drew his salary 
until May 24, 1858. 

Governor Medary was in the gubernatorial office 
for a period of thirteen months. He was the last of 
our territorial governors, there being three, Alexander 
Eams^y, Willis A. Gorman, and Samuel Medary. 

After the formal admission of Minnesota into the 
Union, he was appointed postmaster at Columbus, Ohio. 
Soon afterward he was appointed governor of Kansas, 
November 19, 1858, and entered upon the duties of 
his office December 20. The long existing difficulties 
in Kansas were comparatively at rest during his adminis- 
tration, and no occasion was given for the display of ad- 
ministrative ability. He resigned his office December 
20, 1860. He again returned to Columbus and re- 
sumed his old vocation by establishing a paper which 



72 



SAMUEL MEDAEY. 

was called "The Crisis/' whose proprietor he remained 
until his death, which occurred November 7, 1864. 

He was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, 
Ohio; and in 1869 the Democrats of Ohio erected there 
a noble monument to his memory. It bears this in- 
scription : 

Samuel Medary, 

Born in Montgomery County, Penn., 

February 25, 1801. 

Died at Columbus, Ohio, 

November 7, 1864. 

In commemoration of his Public Services, Private Virtues, 

Distinguished Ability and Devotion to Principle, 

This Monument is Erected by the 

Democracy of Ohio. 

Governor Medary had twelve children: Virginia 
(Mrs. Wilson), Sarah (Mrs. Massey), Kate (Mrs. Blair), 
Louise (Mrs. Smith), Missouri, Samuel Adams, Flora 
(Mrs. Nevins), Charles Stewart, William Allen, Freder- 
ick Henry, Laura Willey, and Jacob. Missouri died in 
infancy, and Louise died in 1861. The other children 
survived the Governor. 



Governor Medary's message of April 29, 1857, in 
the extra session of the territorial legislature called to 
provide for admission to statehood, was published in the 
Journal of the Council, pages 5-7, and also as a pamph- 
let of six pages. The purpose of the session was noted 
thus : 

Herewith transmitted is a copy of the act of Congress, 
passed at the last session, "To authorize the people of the Ter- 
ritory of Minnesota to form a Constitution and State Govern- 
ment, preparatory to their admission into the Union on an 
equal footing with the original States." 

73 



GOVEEISTORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The provisions of the act are explicit, requiring no explana- 
tion. They are liberal and beneficent to the future state of 
Minnesota. It is your province to determine what legislation is 
required at your present session to carry the law into effect. 
It will devolve upon you to provide for the compensation of the 
members of the Constitutional Convention, and for defraying the 
expenses of that body. The whole subject is submitted to your 
disposal, in the confidence that your action will be as prompt 
and judicious as the interests of the territory may demand; 
and that it will be in full harmony with the spirit and intent 
of the Enabling Act of Congress. 

The message of Medary to the first legislature of the 
state of Minnesota, delivered December 11, 1857, pub- 
lished in the Journal of the Senate, pages 29-39, and 
as a separate pamphlet of 13 pages, begins as follows: 

I congratulate you upon your organization as the Legisla- 
tive Department of a State Government. 

The territorial existence of Minnesota has been brief, 
healthful and fortunate; and having patiently waited until the 
full measure of her population is more than attained, and asked 
and fulfilled every formality of law and precedent, she is ready 
—without dissension, strife or doubt — to take her place among 
the co-equal sovereignties of the Federal Union. 

You will join with me in the hope and effort that Minne- 
sota may achieve a position of usefulness and importance in 
national affairs, and be powerful in promoting the harmony and 
prosperity of these United States. 

The Constitution adopted by the people of our territory, 
with such distinguished unanimity, is so distinct in its grants 
and limitations of power that there need be no difficulty in fol- 
lowing its true intent and meaning. Securing the fullest liberty 
of conscience, of speech, and of the Press, its Republican charac- 
ter is indisputable. The work of actual residents, uninfluenced 
by outside interference, the people of Minnesota can repose 
upon it as their own creation ; and if found inadequate to the 
complete development of their state, or defective in any of its 
provisions, they have reserved to themselves the ways and 
means of its revision or abrogation. Upon the legislature now 
assembled devolves the high privilege and important duty of 
shaping the first laws of our infant state, in accordance with 
the charter the people have decreed. 



74 







HENRY H. SIBLEY. 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY 

First Governor of the State, was born 
in Detroit, Michigan, February 20, 1811, 
and died in St. Paul, Minnesota, Febru- 
ary 18, 1891. He was factor for the 
American Fur Company in pre-territor- 
ial days; was the first delegate to Con- 
gress from this area; and commanded 
the white forces who conquered the 
Indian outbreak in 1862. 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY 

FIRST GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 
May 24, 1858, to January 2, 1860 



HENEY Hastings Sibley, the first governor of the 
State of Minnesota, was born in the city of Detroit, 
Michigan, February 20, 1811. The genealogical re- 
cord of the Sibley family shows him to have been well 
born. His ancestors were English. His father was chief 
justice Solomon Sibley, of Detroit, whose immediate an- 
cestors attained prominence in early New England his- 
tory and were all of thoroughly Puritan stock. The 
mother of Henry Hastings Sibley was Sarah Whipple 
Sproat, and was the daughter of a Bevolutionary sold- 
ier, Col. Ebenezer Sproat, a family of subsequent dis- 
tinction in both Ohio and Michigan. 

The Sibley family were in Detroit during the War 
of 1812, and during the disgraceful surrender of the 
fort by General Hull to General Brock, the British 
commander. When the attack was made upon the city, 
Mrs. Sibley was holding in her arms her youngest child, 
Henry Hastings, while she was making cartridges for 
the soldiers, or scraping lint for the wounded. To the 
memory of this good and noble woman, Mrs. Ellet, in 

77 



GO VEEN OK S OF MINNESOTA. 

her admirable volume, "The Pioneer Women of the 
West/' pays a beautiful and touching tribute. 

Young Sibley was thus by heredity born to an ad- 
venturous career. He was educated in the academy at 
Detroit, and received during two years a polishing course 
of Greek and Latin under an Episcopal clergyman. 
Then followed two years of study in the law. But this 
was irksome work for one who longed for outdoor pur- 
suits and a more stirring life. Of his OAvn accord he 
entered upon a career of his own choosing. In 1828, m 
his eighteenth year, he turned his steps to the West, 
never again to return to his home, except as a transient 
guest. 

He first found employment as a clerk at Sault 
Sainte Marie in a sutler's store. This and subsequent 
employment familiarized young Sibley with Indian af- 
fairs, and opened the way for an important clerkship in 
the American Fur Company, of which John Jacob Astor, 
of New York, was the head. This company gathered 
furs and pelts from vast regions in the Northwest. 
Sibley's first employment was at Mackinac, then the cen- 
tral depot of the great fur company, second only to that 
of the Hudson Bay Company. There he met Kobert 
Stuart, the head and embodiment of the fur company it- 
self. Under the tutorship of that distinguished trader, 
he learned the entire business of traffic with the Indians. 
Here he also became intimate with Henry E. Schoolcraft, 
who was ever afterward his warm personal friend. The 
five years he spent with this great company advanced 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

him to high responsibilities and to the practical control 
of its business. 

In 1834, John Jacob Astor sold his entire interest 
to a new corporation of which Eamsay Crooks, father of 
the late Colonel William Crooks, of St. Paul, was chosen 
president. Into this new company came Hercules L. 
Dousman and Joseph Eolette, Sr., and also young Sibley ; 
and the latter, largely upon Dousman's recommendation, 
was to push into the wilderness and take exclusive con- 
trol of the direct trade with the Sioux Indians from 
Lake Pepin to the British line. This business arrange- 
ment decided the tenor of young Sibley's whole subse- 
quent career. In his twenty-third year, he succeeded 
Alexis Bailly, a well known trader, in charge of the 
company's headquarters post, at the junction of the Mis- 
sissippi and St. Peter's rivers, at a point subsequently 
called Mendota. On the 7th day of November, 1834, 
the young adventurer first set foot on that soil which 
was destined to be the theater of the activities of his 
stirring life. The only friendly object in sight was the 
starry flag floating from the turret of Port Snelling, 
erected by the War Department in 1820. 

With his accustomed energy, in 1835-36, he erected 
two massive stone buildings, one a warehouse, the other 
a substantial stone residence, the first stone dwelling- 
house ever erected in Minnesota or Dakota. For nine 
years, from 1834 to 1843, he lived there in baronial state, 
pursuing with ardor the ever growing interests of the fur 
company. The long and unoccupied winters gave great 

79 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

opportunity for study, and he caused to be sent to him 
from Detroit and St. Louis works of the highest merit, 
such as those of Gibbon, Hume, Bollin, Cooper's and 
Scott's novels, and other kindred works, the first val- 
uable collection of books brought to Minnesota. 

There he became acquainted with all the early mis- 
sionaries, Protestant and Catholic alike, and bore fre- 
quent testimony, in his letters and addresses, to their 
devotion and zeal for the welfare of the red men. 
Samuel W. Pond and Gideon H. Pond, Stephen K. 
Eiggs, Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, and William T. Bout- 
well, were all his friends. Nor less friendly was the re- 
lation he sustained to those noble Catholic pioneers, 
Father Galtier, Father Bavoux, and Father Cretin, sub- 
sequently Bishop of St. Paul. 

Among the sturdy pioneer traders, who were his 
early associates, were such strong men as Joseph E. 
Brown, Joseph Eenville, Louis Provencalle, William A. 
Aitkin, the two Faribaults, Alexis Bailly, Norman W. 
Kittson, Martin McLeod, Franklin Steele, Henry M. 
Bice, Philander Prescott, W. H. Forbes, the Morrisons, 
Charles H. Oakes, Dr. C. W. W. Borup, and other really 
remarkable and widely known men, who carried into 
our untrodden wildentess the seeds of the coming civili- 
zation. Never was a new state blessed with a braver or 
more intellectual body of men than that stalwart band 
of pioneers who, in the vigor of youth, gave their ener- 
gies and indomitable courage to the building of the 
young empire of Minnesota. These men gathered around 
80 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

Sibley as the Greek heroes about Ajax. He was the cen- 
tral figure of pre-territorial and territorial times. 

It was during these early years that Sibley became 
famous as a Nimrod among the hunters and Indians of 
the Northwest. With the rifle he was almost an uner- 
ring shot. Ducks, geese, elk, and deer, often filled his 
commissary department with abundant stores. His well 
organized hunting expeditions, with trained dogs and 
Indians, often hunted buffalo and elk over the great 
counties which now comprise the cultivated empire of 
Southern Minnesota. 

But nine years of this varied and romantic life 
brought him to an event which was personally of the 
greatest importance. He changed his mode of life from 
a bachelor's to a benedict's. 

Henry Hastings Sibley and Sarah Jane Steele were 
married at Fort Snelling by the post chaplain, Rev. 
Ezekiel G. Gear, May 2, 1843. He had met this really 
beautiful young lady in the city of Baltimore, where he 
had gone as groomsman to the late Franklin Steele, 
whose sister she was. -She was charming in person and 
bright with intelligence. They lived happily together at 
Mendota many years, removing to St. Paul in 1862, 
when he began his military career. This truly good and 
accomplished woman dfed at St. Paul May 21, 1869. 
Mr. Sibley never remarried. 

The home of Mr. Sibley at Mendota was ever a 
mansion of generous hospitality. Men of civil, military, 
and scientific fame found there, in the remote wilder- 
fi 81 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

ness, an elegant home. Such distinguished men as Gov- 
ernor Lewis Cass, of Michigan; Major Stephen H. Long, 
IT. S. A.; Henry E. Schoolcraft, the unquestioned dis- 
coverer of the sources of the Mississippi; the noted 
savant, Joseph N. Nicollet; the celebrated John C. Fre- 
mont; George Catlin, whose works and paintings of In- 
dian character gave him fame; the well known novelist, 
Captain Marryatt, were all among the noted guests who 
enjoyed his princely hospitality. The fame of the Men- 
dota mansion as the abode of hospitality traveled far 
and wide. Its scenes and rich associations are truly his- 
toric, and the building should be preserved by the His- 
torical Society for the memories which enrich its record^ 

The year 1848 marked an era in the history of 
Sibley. He was elected as a delegate to the thirtieth 
Congress, from the territory of Wisconsin. During that 
session of Congress, Wisconsin was admitted as a state 
with diminished boundaries, leaving all that portion of 
the former territory of Wisconsin west of the St. Croix 
river deprived of government representation. It was this 
residuum of territory, not included in the new born 
state, that Sibley had been elected to represent. Mr. 
Sibley defended with marked ability his right to a seat, 
and after a sharp contest he was admitted by a vote of 
ninety yeas to sixty-two nays. This result blazed the 
way for the organization of the territory of Minnesota. 

Old Virginia came into possession of the entire 
"Territory of the Northwest" by virtue of various royal 
charters. Constructively, it reached from sea to sea. 



HENKY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

But she never claimed jurisdiction except of that terri- 
tory lying east of the Mississippi and northwest of the 
Ohio river, keeping her foot off from French dominion. 
Virginia, by an act of the noblest generosity, ceded, 
March 1, 1784, this vast domain to the United States 
forever. This grant was again fully ratified in the cele- 
brated ordinance of 1787, establishing a territory and 
consecrating the princely domain forever to freedom. 
Out of it were carved the great states of Ohio, Michigan, 
Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and a part only of 
the state of Minnesota. That portion of Minnesota lying 
wast of the Mississippi came from the "Louisiana Pur- 
chase." Minnesota thus had a double mother. Her ter- 
ritory passed through many jurisdictions before it be- 
came a territorial unit; and the changes on the west 
side of the Mississippi may be noted in Mr Sibley's own 
words, "I was successively a citizen of Michigan, Wis- 
consin, Iowa, and Minnesota territories, without chang- 
ing my residence from Mendota." 

The important object of Sibley's mission to Con- 
gress was the organization of the territory of Minnesota. 
After a severe struggle it was organized March 3, 
1849. There was but little a territorial delegate in 
Congress could do for his constituents. The establish- 
ment of land offices, the fixing of mail routes, and sug- 
gestions as to the control and management of the In- 
dian population, comprised the extent of his work. 
While in Congress, Sibley took no part in party politics, 
and was more influential for that reason. 

83 



GOVEKNOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

Alexander Kamsey, of Pennsylvania, had been ap- 
pointed by the new President, Zachary Taylor, governor 
of the new made territory; and on June 1, 1849, he 
issued his proclamation for its organization. The new 
governor fixed the first day of August for the election of 
a delegate to Congress from the territory of Minnesota. 
Mr. Sibley was chosen, receiving without opposition the 
votes of all the electors in the territory. No political 
party had yet been formed in the territory, and no par- 
tisan distractions yet marred the harmony of his con- 
stituents. About November, 1849, party organization 
made its appearance, but Mr. Sibley's name does not ap- 
pear in either call. 

A multitude of new duties were now devolved upon 
the delegate from the new born territory. Post roads 
and military roads were to be established; obstructions 
to commerce needed to be removed from the great rivers; 
the frontier must be protected from Indians; treaties 
were to be negotiated; a capitol building was to be 
erected; land offices to be established; pre-emption rights 
to be defended; surveys of public lands to be demanded; 
the school lands to be assured and protected; and large 
appropriations should be solicited. Such were the du- 
ties now pressing upon the new delegate. 

Mr. Sibley was again elected to Congress in 1851, 
serving in all in that body four years and three months. 
During all this period, he was assiduous in the perform- 
ance of every duty which involved the interests of his 
constituents. His official record is a remarkable one for 

84 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY.. 

faithful work. Everything he gained for the territory 
was won by determined struggles in fierce contests. His 
Congressional career is marked with splendid results for 
the people of Minnesota, and his great labors in Con- 
gress underlie the civil and political structure of our 
state. 

Eetiring from Congress, Mr. Sibley returned to his. 
home in Mendota and gave earnest attention to his long 
neglected private affairs. In October, 1854, he was re- 
turned from Dakota county as a member of the Sixth 
territorial legislature. In that body he was largely in- 
strumental in preventing gigantic schemes of robbery by 
railroad land jobbery and corruption in connection with 
the Minnesota and Northwestern railroad company. 

In 1857-58, the time was ripe for Minnesota* to 
seek entrance into the sisterhood of states. The popula- 
tion was approaching 200,000. February 23, 1857, 
Congress passed an "Enabling Act/' authorizing the peo- 
ple of the territory to meet in convention at St. Paul 
and form for themselves a state constitution. An elec- 
tion for this purpose was duly held, June 8, 1857. 
The delegates so chosen met in St. Paul July 13, at 
the state capitol. Party feeling ran high. Kansas was 
"bleeding," and politics were, indeed, acute. The 
Democratic and Kepublican parties organized in differ- 
ent chambers of the capitol, and each styled itself "the 
Constitutional Convention/' Sibley was elected chair- 
man of the Democratic convention. Each convention 
claimed that it was valid, and denounced the other as 

85 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

spurious. Party spirit blinded all eyes, and scenes were 
enacted which, to calm and retrospective vision, were 
ridiculous. The proceedings of these conventions were 
published in two separate volumes. After weeks of bit- 
ter contention, better counsels prevailed; a committee 
of "conference and compromise" was appointed; and, 
adopting the suggestion of Joseph E. Brown, one con- 
stitution was agreed upon, on August 29, and was un- 
animously ratified by a vote of the people October 13, 
1857. The Congress approved the constitution and it 
received the signature of the President, May 11, 1858. 
Thus, nine years after her organization as a territory, 
Minnesota shone as a new star in the deep blue of the 
national flag. 

The election for state officers under the new con- 
stitution was held October 13, 1857. Henry Hastings 
Sibley, after much delay, was declared elected governor 
by a majority of 240, the contest being between him- 
self and Alexander Eamsey. A question arose as to the 
voting of Indians, the result of the canvassing board was 
not acquiesced in by the opposition, and the papers of 
that day fairly glowed with malignity and gall. The re- 
turns as finally accepted gave Sibley 17,790 votes, and 
Eamsey, 17,550. 

The year when Sibley became governor, chronicled 
the greatest financial disaster ever known to the country. 
Trie fabric of commerce and trade was shattered, and 
public and private credit was wrecked. Minnesota was 
in the slough of the general distress. In the vigorous 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

language of Judge C. E. Flandrau, "Towns on paper 
were thicker than locusts in Egypt. There was little 
else than towns. Agriculture was hardly known. The 
current rate of interest was three and five per cent per 
month. Everybody borrowed all he could to operate in 
town lots. Then came a succession of failures all over 
the country. Never was smash more complete." But it 
gave to the people of Minnesota the salutary lesson that 
all true wealth comes from the soil, and that honest labor 
is the substantial foundation of all genuine prosperity. 

In the midst of this insanity of speculation, came 
a most gigantic blunder on the part of the state. The 
celebrated "Five Million Loan Bill" was the crowning 
monument of the unreason of the people. This bill, in 
the form of a constitutional amendment, provided for a 
loan of the credit of the state to four railroad companies, 
to the amount of $5,000,000, on certain restrictive con- 
ditions. Governor Sibley himself voted against the 
measure. But the political opponents of his admistra- 
tion managed to cast the odium of the measure upon the 
Democrats, and in some degree upon Governor Sibley, 
though many Eepublicans shared equally the responsi- 
bility of its adoption. It was carried like a whirlwind 
by a vote of 25,023 in favor, to 6,733 against it. The 
election occurred on April 15, 1858. The amendment 
thus passed became a part of the organic law of the 
state. The railroad companies promptly accepted the 
conditions, and began work. Governor Sibley notified 
the companies that, before he would deliver to any of 

87 



GOVE B NOES OF MINNESOTA. 

these corporations any portion of the state bonds, they 
must comply with the letter and spirit of the amend- 
ment authorizing the loan. However, one of the com- 
panies, the Minnesota and Pacific, tendered the governor 
a trust deed, not in conformity with his requirements, 
and demanded the issuance of bonds claimed to be due. 
The governor refused to deliver the bonds, and the com- 
pany appealed to the supreme court for a peremtory writ 
to compel their issuance. A majority of the court 
granted the mandamus, Judge Flandrau dissenting. 
This act and decision of the court was a direct encroach- 
ment upon the prerogative of the executive. The dis- 
senting view of Judge Flandrau was an opinion of clear- 
ness, force, and soundness. 

We are of the opinion that Governor Sibley, in this 
transaction, committed a serious error of judgment, and 
at the same time surrendered his constitutional preroga- 
tive of alone exercising the executive function. In this 
proceeding, he made a majority of the supreme court the 
governor, ipso facto, an authority which he could not 
surrender or share with any person or tribunal. The de- 
cision was an encroachment upon the executive preroga- 
tive. The bonds were accordingly issued as prescribed 
by the mandate of the court. The result was that the 
companies defaulted, and the whole arrangement was a 
disastrous failure. The honor of the state was com- 
promised, and we entered upon a period of general dis- 
grace. Had the governor stood firm, how different 
would our history have been in the sad story of the re- 

88 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

suits of the "Five Million Bill." The companies ceased 
operations, and for the time being the condition of the 
state was most unhappy. 

In all this transaction, the personal and official 
character of Governor Sibley was untarnished. No one 
ever questioned the purity of his purposes, and his honor 
was unassailable. But his best friends afterwards hear- 
tily wished that he had refused to obey the writ of the 
court. The court was only a co-ordinate, and not a 
superior branch of the state government. The constitu- 
tion stood above the court, and guaranteed the indepen- 
dence of the executive. The Eepublicans did not fail 
to use the "Five Million Loan" to great advantage in 
the approaching political contest. It was a shibboleth 
which, whether rightfully or wrongfully used, carried 
dismay into the ranks of their opponents. 

While the Five Million Loan was by far the most 
important feature of Governor Sibley's administration, 
minor matters claimed attention. The "Wright County 
War," so called, occurred during this period. Governor 
Sibley in a proper manner vindicated the majesty of the 
law as against mob violence. While much ridicule was 
sought to be thrown upon the governor in this matter, 
his determination to resist anarchy and maintain and 
uphold the majesty of the law through the use of the 
militia was heartily sustained by every law-abiding citi- 
zen. 

The two years of his life as executive of the state 
were well filled with the vast business detail of needs 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

incident to a new state. His office as governor expired 
January 1, 1860. Mighty events were now filling the 
political world with unusual excitement. The revolt of 
the country against the aggressions of the slave power; 
the fugitive slave law; the Dred Scott decision; squat- 
ter sovereignty; the Lecompton constitution of Kansas; 
these, and kindred issues, shook the country as with an 
earthquake. The Democrats themselves were divided. 
The northern Democracy was aligned under the lead of 
Stephen A. Douglas; the southern Democracy was fol- 
lowing John C. Breckenridge. In this contest Ex-Gov- 
ernor Sibley enlisted under the banner of Douglas, and, 
being a delegate to the Charleston convention, he voted 
for the "Little Giant" fifty-seven times, notwithstanding 
the defection of most of the Minnesota delegation. Gov- 
ernor Sibley never affiliated with the extreme Democrats 
of the South. He was a "War Democrat," and was ever 
loyal to the flag of his country. 

Abraham Lincoln was elected president in Novem- 
ber, 1860. South Carolina seceded November 20th, 
1860. In Charleston Harbor, April 12, 1861, the fatal 
gun was fired which awoke the nation to arms. 

In the midst of the lurid light of the flames of the 
great; Civil War, another woe came to the people of Min- 
nesota. Not if another Vesuvius had opened its sul- 
phurous crater in the beautiful valley of Minnesota, 
could the people have been taken with greater surprise. 
A merciless and vengeful enemy, with instinctive secrecy, 
suddenly burst upon the unsuspecting settlers, and com- 
90 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

menced an orgy of butchery of men, women, and child- 
ren. It began at Acton, in Mteker county, and spread 
southward till eighteen counties of the state were made 
hideous with the savage war-whoop of the naked and 
painted Indians, who, with rifle, scalping knife, and 
torch, wreaked their fiendish passions upon the unre- 
sisting and unsuspecting people, and made of a valley 
as sweet as Wyoming, a carnival of hell. This is not the 
place to discuss the causes of this awful tragedy. Little 
Crow followed as the historic successor of King Philip, 
Black Hawk, and Tecumseh. He had come with his 
warriors to repossess the state. 

Alexander Ramsey, then governor, in this alarming 
crisis, turned to Henry Hastings Sibley, his old politi- 
cal antagonist, as the proper man to lead a military force 
against the savage foe. No man in the land knew the 
Indian character better than Sibley. He understood 
their language, their character, their mode of warfare, 
their purposes, and had thorough knowledge of the 
country. On the 19th day of August, 1862, he was com- 
missioned by the governor as colonel and commander of 
the expedition against the hostile Sioux. With creative 
energy he organized military companies, turned lead 
pipe into bullets, and found guns and ammunition where 
none were known to exist, while medical and commissary 
stores were secured as by enchantment. And yet, with 
all his energy, a more heterogeneous mass never moved 
against a foe. His movements seemed slow and conser- 
vative because of unpreparedness ; yet the results of his 

91 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

first campaign disarmed all censure. He relieved Fort 
Bidgely, saved the most of Major Brown's command at 
the bloody action at Birch Coulie, re-enforced the re- 
treating column of Colonel Flandrau from New TT1m 3 
protected Mankato, St. Peter, Henderson, and Glencoe, 
prevented further outrages to an extended frontier, and 
' fought the important battle of Wood Lake, September 
22 and 23, 1862. 

This battle broke utterly the prestige of Little Crow 
and his allies and expelled them forever from the state, 
released three hundred helpless captives at Camp Be- 
lease, took one thousand five hundred prisoners, and 
put four hundred twenty-five Indian cut-throats and 
murderers in irons. The results of the victory were of 
immense value to the state and to the whole country. 
One important feature of these results was the confisca- 
tion of the large Indian reservation south of the Minne- 
sota river and its opening to settlement and civilization. 

President Lincoln at once promoted Colonel Sibley 
to the rank of a brigadier general in the United States 
army. This good work was accomplished in one month 
and six days. He immediately organized a military com- 
mission; caused the 425 alleged murderers to be tried, 
321 of whom were duly convicted; and 303 were sen- 
tenced to capital punishment, whose atrocious crimes* 
surely made them worthy of death. President Lincoln, 
however, in the clemency of his great heart, remitted the 
death penalty on all but forty, thirty-eight of whom 



92 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

were duly executed by hanging in the city of Mankato 
December 26th, 1862. 

No more tragic scene was ever witnessed on the 
American continent than when these red-handed murder- 
ers, suspended from thirty-eight ropes, fell when the 
strongly built scaffold dropped as the cable which held 
the great oak platform was cut by William J. Duly, 
whose wife had been violated and children murdered by 
these same barbarians. If the massacre was tragic, not 
less tragic was the end. The goddess of Justice as she 
gazed upon the scene must have been content. 

The brilliant results of General Sibley's campaign 
in the fall of 1862, thus closed, did not free the fron- 
tier from savage menace. There still existed portions of 
tribes, with more than, five thousand warriors who were 
still for war. Therefore a second military expedition 
was more carefully organized ' and equipped, in the spring 
of 1863, to drive the whole Sioux nation beyond the 
Missouri. A force of more than 4,000 men, including 
infantry, cavalry, and artillery, was concentrated at 
Camp Pope, and on the 16th of June General Sibley 
started this army in the general direction of Devil's 
Lake, in the neighborhood of which the Indians were 
believed to have rendezvoused. 

The field of operations was large and pursuit diffi- 
cult. The season was excessively hot, and the grass- 
hoppers had ravaged the plains. The column marched 
over marsh, plain, and mounds, amid clouds of dust, 



93 



GOYEENOES OP MINNESOTA. 

and the wind was as the breath of a simoom. The lakes 
were alkaline, and pure water was scarcely to be found. 

Forced marches brought the command to Big 
Mound, beyond the James river, where a large body of 
Indians were encamped, and an engagement was at once 
precipitated, on Friday, July 24, 1863. The savages 
were defeated and forced back over successive ridges of 
the rolling prairie, a distance of from ten to fifteen 
miles. A mistaken order induced the return of the pur- 
suing column in the dead of night and far into the 
morning, weary and hungry, to the main camp. It 
would seem to have been good military policy to have 
had the main force follow the pursuing column and 
maintain their advantage. Such a purpose was evidently 
entertained by the commanding general. For early that 
evening General Sibley called a council of war in his 
tent and laid before the members the situation. Just 
where the advance detachments were at that time was 
not known, but they were believed to be successfully fol- 
lowing the enemy. The question submitted by the com- 
manding general to the council was, Should a night 
march be made to overtake the advance column and close 
in on the enemy who had been taken unawares? All the 
field officers present, each in his turn, including the 
writer, counseled for an immediate night march. Very 
soon, however, General Sibley advised the regimental 
officers that no movement would be made that night, 
and that the camp would not be broken. This was an 
unfortunate determination. Sibley believed the Indians 

94 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

to be in full force and feared a night attack upon his 
column, with the dispersion of his cattle, which convic- 
tion may have controlled his decision. 

The result was that two full days were lost to the 
expedition, for the pursuing column returned, men and 
horses utterly worn and exhausted, being without water 
and without food, and were unable to move. The re- 
turning force had retraced their steps with sad and al- 
most rebellious hearts. The advantage to be gained was 
lost, and the enemy had escaped, with time to gather 
their aged, their women and children, and camp equip- 
ment, and to speed on their way to the woods of the 
Missouri valley. If the order to bivouac on the field had 
not been given, a night march would have enabled the 
expedition to overtake the surprised Indian forces, with 
all their woman, children, aged, and impedimenta, and 
a final contest would have been had under the most 
favorable circumstances. Thus it appeared to all his 
colonels. 

The pursuing expedition never again caught up with 
the flying savages, who made good their escape to the 
tangled thickets bordering the Missouri river and finally 
went across that stream. True, the Indian warriors 
three several times returned to contest the advance of 
the expedition, their evident purpose being to still fur- 
ther aid in the escape of their families. On July 26, 
the battle of Dead Buffalo Lake was fought, where 
the Indians retreated, leaving their dead and wounded 
on the field. The battle of Stony Lake was fought by 

95 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

the returning Indians, Tuesday, July 28, to give their 
wretched wives and children further relief from the hor- 
rors of the pursuit. This was, by far, the most import- 
ant engagement with the retreating Sioux. Fully 4,000 
Sioux warriors confronted the expeditionary forces at 
three o'clock in the morning, being the largest Indian 
force that ever faced a white man's army on the Ameri- 
can continent. The fiendish yells of the Indians will 
never he forgotten by those who heard them in the dawn 
of that day. "The brunt of the conflict was borne by 
the Tenth regiment, then in front, where the Indian as- 
sault was gallantly met and broken/' 1 The savages rap- 
idly withdrew from the field. 

The force now advanced, with daily skirmishing, to 
the final engagement at Apple Creek, in the tangled wil- 
derness which lined the Missouri river. After a most 
painful march through vast thickets, the banks of the 
Missouri were visible and the Indian camps were seen 
on the bluffs opposite. They had escaped. This was the 
terminal point of the expedition, being about 600 miles 
from St. Paul. There was hope, not realized, that Gen- 
eral Alfred Sully with a like expedition on the west side 
of the river would intercept the flying Sioux. Rockets 
were sent up and guns fired to attract the attention, if 
possible, of General Sully, but in vain. It was found 
subsequently that on that day General Sully was on the 
Missouri river 163 miles below this expedition. Without 



General Sibley's personal report of the engagement, Col. 
J. H. Baker being in command of the Tenth Regiment. 

96 



HENBY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

boats to cross the great river, further pursuit was use- 
less. Rations also were short, so on August 1, 1863, 
the whole force started on its return. It had been ab- 
sent two months and three weeks, and had marched 
nearly 1,200 miles. 

It is difficult and embarrassing, even at this distant 
day, to pass considerate judgment upon the merits of 
the Sibley campaign to the Missouri river in 1863. If 
to drive the Sioux across the Missouri was the object of 
the expedition, it was a triumphant success. But it must 
ever remain a historic fact that a single night's march 
would have marvelously changed the results of the ex- 
pedition by the probable overthrow and capture of prac- 
tically the entire Sioux force, together with their fam- 
ilies, not less than 8,000 souls. 

General Sibley was a careful and considerate com- 
mander, and every military movement he made was in- 
spired by the best motives and the purest patriotism. As 
compared with other campaigns against hostile Indians, 
conducted by able, noted, and experienced officers, no 
such important and effective blows were ever given in 
the history of this country to frontier savages as those 
of General Sibley's two campaigns. With comparatively 
little loss to his own force, he made our frontiers secure 
forever against Indian incursions. Between Generals 
Sibley and Sully, over 500 Indians were killed and 
wounded, and nearly 2,500 prisoners were taken. Gen- 
eral Sibley will rank, historically, among the very fore- 
most of the country's Indian fighters. He was a better 
7 97 



GOVE E NOES OF MINNESOTA. 

and safer commander for not having the dash of Custer. 
He possessed the courage of Harney, the caution of Wil- 
liam Henry Harrison. He had not the ardor of An- 
thony Wayne, but he had his wise and prudent skill in 
preparing for a campaign or an engagement. 

He fought greater Indian battles than William 
Henry Harrison in his contest against Tecumseh at Tip- 
pecanoe, which made him President of the United 
States. His campaign against the Sioux would have riv- 
eted the eyes of the country and the civilized world, had 
not public attention been so overwhelmingly absorbed 
by the gigantic struggle of the Civil War. 

His Indian campaigns being closed, General Sibley 
returned to his home in St. Paul, where a cordial wel- 
come was given him. He resumed his place in the ranks 
of citizenship, and positions of trust and responsibility 
soon came to him. Meantime he was retained in his 
military position and appointed on a military commis- 
sion to negotiate treaties with the Sioux and Cheyennes 
on the upper Missouri. This work was promptly and 
satisfactorily accomplished, and others of a kindred na- 
ture followed. 

But he finally retired from government service in 
1866, to devote himself to his private affairs. Before 
his retiring, as a further reward for his military ser- 
vices, the rank of major general, by brevet:, was confer- 
red upon him. Now that he was again a citizen, many 
honors were showered upon him. He was elected presi- 
dent of the St. Paul Gas Light Company, in which ca- 

98 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

pacity he served for twenty-three years. He was made 
president of the state normal board; president of the 
board of regents of the state university; president of the 
chamber of commerce in St. Paul; president of the Min- 
nesota Club; and commander of the Loyal Legion, a fit- 
ting honor for his military service, and it is of record 
that one of his ancestors belonged to the "Order of the 
Cincinnati." 

Among all the honorary offices that came to him, 
the one nearest his heart was his election as president 
of the Minnesota Historical Society. He had been a 
charter member of this Society in 1849. General Sibley 
was of methodical tastes and habits. He was always 
careful to preserve every paper and document of any 
value that was sent to him, and to this trait and disposi- 
tion is due the existence of the invaluable letters and 
documents called "The Sibley Papers," which are now 
among the collections of this Society's Library. Por- 
tions of his private library, and these invaluable papers 
and manuscripts, were bequeathed to this Society. They 
are of great historic value, covering a period of sixty 
years. 

For several years, in advanced age, he fought a 
vigorous battle to preserve inviolate the faith and credit 
of the state in the matter of the yet unadjusted rail- 
road bonds. During a period of twenty-four years this 
issue perplexed our state politics. The whole affair was 
unfortunate, but the bonds outstanding were issued by 
the authority and under the seal of the state, and the 



GOYEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

honor of Minnesota required their adjustment, which was 
finally accomplished after repeated attempts, under the 
administration of Governor Pillsbury, in October, 1881. 

Through all his declining years, there was contin- 
uous demand by the public for his counsel and advice on 
public questions. In 1880, at that great "Bi- Centennial 
Anniversary of the Discovery of the Falls of St. An- 
thony," he was chosen president, and was himself the 
central figure of the august ceremonies. 

November 7, 1884, on the completion of fifty years 
of his active and useful life in the service of Minnesota, 
his friends tendered him a sumptuous banquet, beauti- 
ful with flowers, and graced by the presence of the 
elite of St. Paul. In response to an appropriate toast, 
Cushman K. Davis paid him as elegant and touching a 
tribute as ever fell from the lips of that distinguished 
orator. 

The universities of* the land did not overlook the 
merits of this worthy son of Minnesota. The degree of 
Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by Princeton 
College, June $5, 1888. No other Minnesotan ever re- 
ceived so many signal marks of public esteem, and he 
wore all these honors unclouded by a single stain. 

In his waning years he lived at his elegant home in 
St. Paul, surrounded by every comfort, with members 
of his own family who watched him with assiduous care, 
and in the eomplete enjoyment of the esteem and love of 
the people of the, state. 



100 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

Mrs. Sibley died May 21, 1869, lamented by a 
large circle of loving friends. She was a lady of rare 
virtues and accomplishments, and was in every way 
fitted to adorn the high station in life it was her for- 
tune to occupy. They lived together twenty-six years of 
happy married life. Two beautiful children died in his 
absence while he was leading the expedition against the 
Sioux in 1863. These losses bore heavily upon the gen- 
eral, and bowed his stalwart form with age. In all, this 
goodly pair lost five children. The family register 
shows nine children, as follows: Augusta, who became 
Mrs. Captain Douglas Pope; Henry Hastings, who died 
in infancy; a second Henry Hastings, who also died in 
infancy; Sarah Jane, who became Mrs. Elbert A. Young; 
Franklin Steele, deceased; Mary Steele, deceased; Alex- 
ander, deceased; Charles Frederick; and Alfred Bush. 

General Sibley died at his residence, 417 Wood- 
ward avenue, St Paul, February 18, 1891, at 4:30 
o'clock, A. M., in the eightieth year of his age. The 
Loyal Legion laid him, with loving hands, in a soldier's 
grave. The services were those of the Episcopal church, 
conducted by Bishop M. N. Gilbert. His casket was cov- 
ered with a ^profusion of flowers, and, followed by a 
most distinguished cortege, was laid away in Oakland 
Cemetery. 

Thus ended the career of Minnesota's most princely 
pioneer. His name had become a household word in the 
state, and his active life was interwoven with all our 
history. A loving and admiring people have perpet- 

101 



GOVEENORS OF MINNESOTA. 

uated his name in county, town, and streets. During 
later years his polished pen was never idle, as shown by 
his lectures, addresses, and a most valuable list of papers 
delivered before the Historical Society, to which he was 
always warmly attached. He was prominent in social as 
well as official life, and his hospitable home was the cen- 
ter of a wide circle of friends. Authors, tourists, jour- 
nalists, artists, and strangers who visited St. Paul, were 
sure to call on its distinguished citizen. The writer' 
came to serve under him in the Sioux War with pre- 
conceived prejudices. Experience taught him to correct 
his judgment and revise his opinions. General Sibley 
was first of all a gentleman. Every act of his daily life 
bespoke the well-bred man. He was truly a baron of the 
border, and was surrounded by a body of remarkable 
men, who were chiefs to their clan in that day; but it is 
easy to note that Sibley was the Douglas of them all. 

His work, as if foreordained, was to deliver the wil- 
derness over to civilization. Nobly was it accomplished, 
and the barbaric past is now but as a tale that is told. 
What a history, what events, what memories, crowd upon 
us as we survey the grand panorama of this man's life ! 
It is an unwritten Ilaid from savage time to the pre- 
sent consummate glory of our august state. As a com- 
mander in Indian warfare, he surely was never sur- 
passed, if ever equalled. Anthony Wayne or General 
Custer would have fought at times when Sibley remained 
in his camp. But we recall the fearful disaster which 
befell Braddock when he neglected to guard against sur- 

102 



HENRY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

prise. He was the most impressive force in the early 
arid plastic period of our commonwealth. 

As Washington stands for the infant nation, so 
Sibley stands for our infant state. He is the bright 
consummate flower of our earlier days, and the Muse 
of History, in her final decrees, ever loyal to truth and 
justice, will write the name of Henry Hastings Sibley, 
the pioneer, the statesman, and the soldier, far up in 
that pantheon which will preserve the fame of those who 
have best served the state. 



The message of Governor Sibley to the first legisla- 
ture of this state, June 3, 1858, was published in the 
Journal of the Senate, pages 372-379, and also separately 
as a pamphlet of 15 pages. Its last paragraphs are these : 

Minnesota enters the Union as the thirty -second state. 
She extends a friendly hand to all her sisters, north and south, 
and gives them the assurance that she joins their ranks — not 
to provoke sectional discord or to engender strife — not to enlist 
in a crusade against such of them as differ with her in the 
character of their domestic institutions — but to promote har- 
mony and good will, and to lend her aid, on all occasions, in 
maintaining the integrity of the Union. 

Having been elected to the position of Chief Magistrate of 
the new state of Minnesota, I enter upon the discharge of the 
duties devolving upon me with much diffidence of my own 
abilities, but with a full consciousness that they will be hon- 
estly performed. Expecting to be held to a rigid accountability 
for the course of my administration, I shall exact from those 
officials for whose actions I may be in any manner responsi- 
ble, an equally strict execution of the trusts that may be im- 
posed upon them. For nearly twenty -four years I have been a 
resident of what is now the state of Minnesota, and I have 
w r atched each change in the condition of the country up to its 
present state of development, with mueh solicitude. I have no 
objects and no interests which are not inseparably bound 
up with the welfare of the state, and it is my highest ambi- 
tion so to conduct her public affairs, that, when my official 

103 



GOVEKNOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

term shall expire, there will be found no blot on her escutcheon, 
and no departure, for which I can be made justly responsible, 
from those principles of integrity and sound democratic policy 
which have been the means, under Providence, of placing the 
American Union in the high position it now holds in the es- 
timation of the world. 

In his second and last message to the legislature/ 
December 8, 1859, published in the Journal of the 
Senate, pages 10-27, and also in a pamphlet of 28 pages, 
Sibley referred to the strife between the North and the 
South, as follows: 

The slavery question has for years been the fruitful source 
of sectional discord, and will continue to alienate the affec- 
tions of the two great parts of the Union from each other, so 
long as it can be dragged into the arena of politics. When the 
principle of non-intervention on the part of Congress with the 
domestic institutions of the states, or organized territories, shall 
be fully established as a part of the public policy, and the same 
doctrine is made applicable to the several states and territories, 
no one being permitted to interfere in any manner with the 
domestic affairs of another, we may confidently expect to see 
the bonds of fraternal kindness fully restored between the 
North and South, and the only element of danger to the in- 
tegrity of the confederacy wholly dissipated and removed. 

It is the duty of Minnesota, and that of every other state, 
to promote harmony and good will between the different sec- 
tions, and to frown upon all endeavors to exasperate one part 
of our common country against the other. God has given us 
a noble heritage, and while we enjoy the blessings of perfect 
freedom, religious as well as civil, we should bear in mind that 
we shall be held justly responsible for any failure on our part 
to transmit them unimpaired to our descendants. 

Governor Sibley contributed the following papers in 
the Minnesota Historical Society Collections : 

Description of Minnesota, a letter dated February 
15, 1850 (Volume I, 1872, pages 37-42; 1902, pages 
19-24). 

Speech before the Committee on Elections of the 
House of Eepresentatives in Congress, December 22, 1848 
(Vol. I, 1872, pp. 69-76; 1902, pp. 47-54). 
104 



HENEY HASTINGS SIBLEY. 

Memoir of J. N. Nicollet (Vol. I, 1872, pp. 183- 
195; 1902, pp. 146-156). 

Eeminiscences, Historical and Personal; an address 
at the annual meeting of this society, February 1, 1856 
(Vol. I, 1872, pp. 457-485; 1902, pp. 374-396). 

Sketch of John Other Day (Vol. Ill, 1880, pp. 99- 
102). 

Memoir of Jean Baptiste Faribault (Vol. Ill, pp. 
168-179). 

Memoir of Hercules L. Dousman (Vol. Ill, pp. 
192-200). 

Eeminiscences of the Early Bays of Minnesota (Vol. 
Ill, pp. 242-282). 

Tribute to the Memory of Eev. John Mattocks (Vol. 
Ill, pp. 307-310). 

Memorial of Eev. Gideon H. Pond (Vol. Ill, pp. 
364-366). 



105 



ALEXANDER RAMSEY 

SECOND GOVERNOR 
OF MINNESOTA 

January 2, 1860, to July 10, 1863 



The complete biography 
of Governor Ramsey will 
be found on pages 3 to 
46 inclusive. 




HENRY A. SWIFT. 



HENRY ADONIRAM SWIFT 

Third Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born in Ravenna, Ohio, March 
23, 1823, and died in St. Peter, Minne- 
sota, February 25, 1869. He was a state 
senator in 1862-3 and in 1864-5, and 
later was register of the United States 
Land Office at St. Peter, until his death. 
He served as governor from July 10, 
1863, to January 11, 1864. 



HENRY ADONIRAM SWIFT 

THIRD GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 
July 10, 1863, to January 11, 1864 



IN Maple Grove Cemetery, at Ravenna, Ohio, there 
sleeps, in his last long sleep, the third governor of 
Minnesota, Henry Adoniram Swift. He was a remark- 
able and uncommon man in the distinguishing features 
of his personal character. He was of a rare and delicate 
mould, and really devoid of political ambition. What 
came to him in the way of official position was conferred 
by his fellow citizens because of their belief in his spec- 
ial fitness and endowment for the place they wished him 
to occupy. He never personally sought an office nor so- 
licited a recommendation for one. He is the only one of 
our governors of whom this could be truthfully said. 
And of how many men in this nation, who have enjoyed 
political preferment, can this be affirmed? 

Henry Adoniram Swift was born in Ravenna, Ohio, 
March 23, 1823. He was the second son and the third 
child of Isaac and Eliza Swift. He was of Revolu- 
tionary stock; but, as Voltaire was wont to say, "He 
who serves his country well has no need of ancestors." 
Yet we record the genealogical fact that the Swifts could 
trace their lineage back to the Pilgrim Fathers. His 

111 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. ' 

grandfather, Dr. Isaac Swift, was a Revolutionary pa- 
triot, and being a surgeon, was appointed a surgeon 
in the army under his cousin, Col. Herman Swift, and in 
that capacity he served during the year of 1776. 

The Swifts came from England. They settled at 
Watertown, several miles west of Boston, in 1634. Ban- 
croft (Vol. II, page 97) relates how Governor Thomas 
Mayhew, who settled at Watertown in 1631 and who 
was related to the Swifts, received a good grant of land 
from the Earl of Sterling, — Martha's Vineyard, Nan- 
tucket, and the Elizabeth Islands. So we see they were 
well connected. Swift's father, like his grandfather, 
was also a physician, Dr. Isaac Swift, and was from 
Cornwall, Connecticut. He was graduated at Columbia 
College, New York. 

In the spring of 1815, Dr. Swift started west on 
horseback, with his diploma in his pocket, and all his 
effects in a portmanteau. Finally he reached Kavenna, 
Ohio, where, his horse being sick, he was compelled to 
stop. He became the guest of one Salmon Carter, who 
kept a hotel. Carter soon made it known that he had a 
physician in his house, and as there were many sick 
in the new settlement,, he came unexpectedly into pro- 
fessional employment which determined his location for 
life. 

In 1818 Dr. Swift married Miss Eliza Thompson. 
Her family had come from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 
and had also settled in Ravenna. Here this goodly cou- 
ple lived for over fifty years, honored and beloved by 

112 



HEX B Y A D X I B A M S W I F T. 

all. And here, at the ripe age of eighty-four, Dr. Swift 
died, and ten years later his wife died at the same age. 

Young Swift attended the schools of his native town 
till the dawn of manhood, when his father sent him to 
the Western Beserve College, at Hudson, Ohio, where he 
was graduated with high honors in 13-12. Henry A. 
Swift and Cushman K. Davis are the only ones of our 
governors who received a complete collegiate classical 
education, carried away their diplomas with a well-earned 
A. B., and finally had an A. M. attached to their names. 
Not long after his graduation, young Swift made 
a trip South to look the world over and see what there 
was for him to do. On the boat he met a wealthy 
planter, who, being much pleased with the young man, 
at once engaged him as a tutor for his children on his 
plantation in Mississippi. The one great question of 
the day was that of slavery, and throughout all the 
South they were suspicious of Northern men; and Swift, 
being from the Western Beserve, was at once denounced 
as an abolitionist. His mail was inspected, and, in gen- 
eral, it became so uncomfortable that save for the in- 
fluence of his patron he might not have left the com- 
munity alive. It is of record that in the immediate 
vicinity in which he taught, a man denounced as an 
"abolitionist" was killed, and his body, cut to pieces and 
placed in a box, was floated down the Mississippi as a 
warning to all such persons. Swift, however, safely re- 
turned to his Northern home, deeply imbued with anti- 



113 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

slavery views which he maintained with vigor to the end 
of his life. 

At home once more, young Swift studied law with 
Messrs. Tilden and Ranney, and was admitted to the 
bar in 'October, 1845. The winter of 1846-47 he spent 
in Columbus, Ohio, as assistant clerk of the House of 
Representatives. The ensuing year he was chosen chief 
clerk of the legislature. It was during this period of 
his life that he made the acquaintance of Midi' Ruth 
Livingston, a very accomplished young lady of Gettys- 
burg, Pennsylvania. She was a graduate of the Female 
Seminary of her native city, but with her parents had 
removed to Pittsburg, Pa. In 1851 their marriage oc- 
curred, and they at once settled to housekeeping in Ra- 
venna. He devoted himself to the law and also acted 
as secretary of the Portage County Insurance Company. 

For some time Mr. Swift had cast longing eyes to- 
ward the great Northwest, as the mighty cradle of great 
empires and abounding in great opportunities. In the 
early spring of 1853, with his wife and infant daughter, 
he bade adieu to the Western Reserve and started for 
St. Paul, Minnesota. The route was circuitous. He 
went to Pittsburg, thence down the Ohio river to St. 
Louis, and after much delay as to boats got one to 
Galena, Illinois, and finally another to St. Paul, mak- 
ing a journey of nearly two thousand miles and of three 
weeks duration. In a letter home after his arrival in 
St. Paul he says: "St. Louis is the smartest business 
place I ever saw. I did not expect to find TIncle Tom's 

114 



HENBY ADONIRAM SWIFT. 

Cabins exposed for sale and placarded in every book- 
store in the city. I asked one bookseller if they sold 
well, and his reply was, 'I don't sell anything else/ 
I hope, the next time I visit the place, to find that work 
has brought down one sign I saw there, which read 
'Negroes bought and sold here/" 

March 3, 1849, Congress passed the bill author- 
izing the organization of the Territory of Minnesota, 
and June 1, Alexander Eamsey, the newly appointed 
governor, issued a proclamation declaring the territory 
duly organized. In his message to the legislature, the 
Governor gives this description of St. Paul as he found 
it in 1853: "It was then a village of a dozen frame 
houses and some eight or ten log buildings with bark 
roofs." The steamer on which the Governor came did 
not have a pound of freight for St. Paul. 

On his arrival in this embryo city, in May, 1853, 
Mr. Swift set to work building a home for his family 
on College avenue. It was afterward sold to E. S. Edger- 
ton. He at once opened an office as a real estate and 
insurance agent. He remained in St. Paul about three 
years, devoting his time and energies to the upbuilding 
of the young commonwealth in many ways. In 1856 
he sold his property and invested his money in the "St. 
Peter Company," which was the name of the associa- 
tion seeking to build a new city, and to secure the state 
capital, far up the Minnesota river, but as yet without a 
single house. Such was the measureless faith the young 
man had in the future of Minnesota. 

115 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

For some inexplicable reason Mr. Swift's name is 
not mentioned in the "History of the Minnesota Valley," 
a pretentious volume of oyer one thousand pages, pur- 
porting to give an account of all the leading men of the 
great Minnesota valley. Yet he was one of the charter 
members of the "St. Peter Land Company/' and played 
as important a part as any man connected with it, and 
was perhaps the best known man in Nicollet county at 
that period. 

It was in the fall of 1853 that Captain William B. 
Dodd made a claim of 160 acres on which a part of St. 
Peter now stands. The place was called "Rock Bend/' 
Subsequently, William and Oliver Ames took claims by 
the side of Captain Dodd's, extending the city on paper. 
A stock company was organized in February, 1854, and 
the land above mentioned, including about five hundred 
acres in all, was laid out in a townsite and the name was 
changed to St. Peter, this name being given the city of 
hope from the name of the river. 

The early years of Swift's residence in St. Peter 
were years of hardship and privations incident to fron- 
tier life, yet he and his excellent wife bore them all 
patiently. He threw his soul and energies into the task 
of building up the town of his early affections. In this 
way it is not too much to say that he became the idol 
of the young community, so universally was he beloved 
and esteemed. The winter of 1857-58 he spent in Wash- 
ington, trying to secure a grant of lands for railroads 
in the new territory, and aiding in the work of gaining 

116 



HENKY ADONIRAM SWIFT. 

admission for the new state, to which much opposition 
had developed from political causes. During this ac- 
tive period, he built a fine residence on Main street, in 
St. Peter, which he occupied during the residue of his 
life. It became an historic spot, and has been kept as 
much as possible, in its general features, as he left it. 

He suffered, as did all the early settlers, from the 
financial crash in 1857. It was in February, 1857, that 
the territorial legislature passed the celebrated bill re- 
moving the state capital from St. Paul to St. Peter. 
It was a bitter fight, in which St. Peter eventually lost. 
In consequence of this defeat, property in St. Peter 
rapidly depreciated. This, and the financial crash of 
1857, greatly embarrassed Mr. Swift, and it was many 
years of effort before he re-established himself in com- 
fortable circumstances. 

At this time Mr. Swiff s general fitness and quali- 
fications induced the people of his district to nominate 
him for Congress as a Eepublican, without solicitation 
on his part. It was a heated canvass, and, as he ap- 
peared often upon the stump, he won the good opinion 
even of his opponents by the fair, candid, and manly 
way in which he spoke and deported himself. His party 
was defeated, and the Hon. James M. Cavanaugh was 
elected, but Mr. Swift gained in popularity and stand- 
ing. 

In 1861 Mr. Swift was elected to the state senate, 
and served during the two sessions of 1862 and 1863. 
The convention which nominated him met at Henderson, 

117 



GOVEENOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

Sibley county, and nominated the Hon. M. J. Sever- 
ance for senator. But for some unexplained reason, 
Mr. Severance immediately declined the honor, and the 
convention at once substituted the name of Mr. Swift. 
Thus it came to pass that the declination of Mr. Sever- 
ance opened the door for the advance of Mr. Swift to 
gubernatorial honors in a manner wholly unforeseen. 

Senator Swift took his seat in the senate in Janu- 
ary, 1862. His courteous, genial, and manly ways soon 
won the good will of the entire senate. He seldom 
spoke, but when he did his reasoning always carried con- 
viction. One important measure to which he gave con- 
siderate attention was an act for the "Organization 
and Begulation of Independent School Districts." It 
contained the basis of the present school system, of 
which the state is so justly proud. 

The news of the terrible Sioux outbreak, which 
occurred August 18, 1862, struck fear into all hearts 
on the frontier. The news was brought to St. Peter the 
evening of the same day. On receipt of this news, 
Senator Swift asked William GL Hayden, for many years 
auditor of Nicollet county, to accompany him to New 
Ulm the next day, and the two left St. Peter in a 
buggy about noon, Tuesday, the 19th. In the mean- 
time, A. M. Bean with sixteen men, well armed, had 
already started from Nicollet and reached New Ulm 
about one o'clock. About a hundred Indians under Little 
Crow, made their appearance about four o'clock, and be- 
gan an attack, shouting and yelling like demons. Very 

118 



HENEY ADONIEAM SWIFT. 

soon after the battle began Senator Swift and Captain 
L. M. Boardman, sheriff of tne county, with sixteen well 
armed men arrived on the scene, and, taking an active 
part, turned the tide of battle, with the result that the 
Indians withdrew at dusk. This constituted the first 
defense of Few Ulm, and it was vitally important as it 
unquestionably saved the people of New Ulm from mas- 
sacre. Senator Swift's prompt action in aiding in rally- 
ing men and going to that place with the others, on 
Tuesday, the 19th of August, was probably the salvation 
of the town. 

In Charles E. Flandrau's official roster of his com- 
pany, called the "St. Peter Frontier Guards," we find 
Senator Swift's name as a private serving from the 19th 
to the 26th of August, 1862, and being in the first and 
second battle of New TJlm. In the St. Peter Tribune, 
published cotemporaneously with the event, we find 
Swift's name with that of his companion Hayden as two 
of the company of eighteen men who arrived in New 
Ulm on the 19th and took an active and gallant part in 
the first defense of the town. From the best informa- 
tion available, it is probable that Swift returned the 
next day towards St. Peter to guide Capt. Charles E. 
Flandrau's company to the ferry and to New Ulm, for 
Flandrau states in his official report that Swift was his 
guide from some point to the ferry. In the second at- 
tack, on the 23rd, Mr. Swift exhibited the greatest cour- 
age and bravery throughout that bloody engagement. 
His constant exposure in heavy rains and inclement 

119 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

weather, while on guard, and other severe duties, 
brought upon him a disease from the effects of which his 
delicate constitution never recovered. His home for 
more than a month was filled with the sick and wounded 
from this terrible Indian raid. 

During Senator Swift's second term as state sen- 
ator, Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly resigned 
his position, having been elected to Congress, in which 
body he was to take his seat March 4, 1863. The 
senate so highly appreciated Senator Swift's abilities 
and general demeanor that he was unanimously elected 
president of the senate, to fill the vacancy. Subse- 
quently, this same legislature elected Governor Alexander 
Kamsey to the United States Senate; and Senator 
Swift, being now his legal successor, was thus, by rapid 
and unexpected promotion, made governor of Minnesota, 
July 10, 1863. 

His message to the legislature, delivered January 
11, 1864, is an excellent document, covering the condition 
of the state and country expressed in a clear and forcible 
manner. It is replete with many practical suggestions 
touching railroads, financial questions, and the State 
University, and it closes with an elegant peroration re- 
viewing the great national struggle then, in its last stages. 
It is notable for its exalted patriotism, and demonstrates 
the Governor's ability to wield a vigorous and classic pen. 

It was during his administration that Captain 
James L. Fisk, by authority of the general government, 
made his celebrated trip to the new gold fields of Mon- 

120 



HENRY ADONIEAM SWIFT. 

tana, and thus demonstrated the superiority of the Min- 
nesota route to the new discoveries, and indicated it to 
be the best route for a northern line of railway to the 
Pacific. It was during this .period, also, that Little 
Crow, the leader and master spirit of the Sioux outbreak, 
was killed by Nathan Lamson and his son near Hutchin- 
son. During this same period, a most important treaty 
was made by Senator Bamsey with the Bed Lake and 
Pembina bands of Chippewa Indians, acquiring the 
valley of the Bed river, extinguishing the Indian title 
to some 10,000 square miles of rich territory, and 
opening for settlement an extension to the state of im- 
measurable' value. Solicitude and care for our soldiers 
in the field demanded and received the most considerate 
attention from Governor Swift. It was just before the 
beginning of his administration, on the 2d and 3d of 
July, 1863, that the First Eegiment of Minnesota Vol- 
unteers, on whose standards the names of twenty battles 
were already written, entered the very vortex of the con- 
flict at Gettysburg, and added to its immortal roll the 
gallant charge with which its name is forever identified. 
With Governor Andrew G. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, 
Swift arranged the purchase of the ground on which that 
greatest battle of modern times was fought, and thus 
gave our brave dead a shrine safe from profanation. 
And there Abraham Lincoln, on the 19th of November, 
1864, delivered one of the most memorable orations rec- 
orded in human history. 



121 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The last call for troops, 300,000, was made after 
Swift assumed office. Minnesota, under this call, was 
in debt on her contingent 1,300 men. Governor Swift 
proposed to compromise this demand by raising a regi- 
ment of cavalry to be employed in protecting our fron- 
tier against the hostile Indians, which request was 
granted. 

It was during the closing days of his administra- 
tion that Minnesota enjoyed immigration in an unpre- 
cedented degree, which was estimated, for a large part 
of the year, at one thousand per day. His administra- 
tion was a notable success in every department. 

There was a general desire that Governor Swift 
should be a candidate to succeed himself. The St. Paul 
Daily Press voiced the universal sentiment when it said: 
"We know of no one on whom executive honors would 
sit with more grace and fitness, and no one more worthy 
in his private and public character to fill the guber- 
natorial chair than Governor Swift/' 

He was repeatedly urged to permit the use of his 
name as a candidate by the important leaders of the Re- 
publican party, but he steadfastly declined, and in 
August, 1863, the St. Paul Press contained an authorita- 
tive statement from the governor that under no circum- 
stances would he be a candidate. The announcement 
was received with general regret by all parties, and his 
nomination was really a foregone conclusion if he would 
accept. Stephen Miller was placed in nomination to 
succeed him. 

122 



HBNEY ADONIRAM SWIFT. 

Subsequently, at the earnest solicitation of his 
friends in St. Peter, he did consent to become again a 
member of the state senate. During this period he was 
urged to be a candidate for the United States Senate, 
there being a vacancy. Although he refused, his friends 
still voted for him; but as he made no effort whatever 
to secure the position, Daniel S. Norton was nominated. 
After the convention which nominated Stephen Miller 
as his successor as governor, he wrote to his wife ex- 
pressing his complete satisfaction in not permitting his 
name to be presented, as he wished to be at home with 
her and his family, who were more to him than any 
political honors whatever. In another letter to his wife, 
referring to the United States senatorial election, he 
cfaid: "I am very much relieved and pleased that this 
senatorial contest is over as it is, and for a few minutes 
I was afraid I might be elected/' 

During the summer of 1865 he was appointed re- 
gister of the St. Peter Land Office, with a salary of 
$3,000 a year. This position he held till his death, and 
greatly enjoyed it because he could be with his family 
in their own home. 

In January, 1868, on the occasion of the golden 
wedding of his honored parents, he visited his old home 
in Eavenna, Ohio, for the last time. 

About one year after this golden anniversary, Gov- 
ernor Swift was taken with typhoid fever. His attend- 
ing physician was Dr. A. W. Daniels, a man eminent in 
his profession and the Governor's warm personal friend. 

123 



GOVEBNOBS OP MINNESOTA. 

Eor three weeks it seemed to be a very mild case, but 
after that period there came a relapse, and he gradually 
grew worse till his death came at 10 A. M., February* 
25, 1869. His demise cast a gloom not only over his 
family and his city, but over the entire state. The flag 
was placed at half-mast on the state capitol. His fun- 
eral did not occur till March 3, to give time for his 
aged parents to come from Bavenna, Ohio. The Be v. 
A. H. Kerr, his friend and pastor and a chaplain of the 
Civil War, officiated. His funeral was attended by the 
community at large, and by many noted persons from 
abroad. He was forty-five years of age at the time of 
his death, falling in the very prime of his manhood. 
Many fine tributes of respect for his noble life and his 
public services appeared in numerous papers of the state. 

Governor Swift was an active member of the Min- 
nesota Historical Society, and that body passed resolu- 
tions in honor of his life and public services, and its 
secretary, Mr. J. ¥. Williams, published an excellent 
memoir of the governor in Volume III of the Society's 
Historical Collections. 

About six months after his death his body was re- 
moved to Maple Grove Cemetery, Bavenna, Ohio, where 
he sleeps with his family. 

To the happy marriage heretofore mentioned, five 
children were born. December, 1863, a daughter, ten 
years old, died of diphtheria. About one month later an 
only son, four years old, died of scarlet fever. In 186$ 
an infant child was taken away. His friends have al~ 

124 



HENKY ADONIBAM SWIFT. 

ways asserted that these bereavements cast an ineiJaoe- 
able shadow upon his life, and had much to do with his 
subsequent aversion to a public career. He seemed then 
to have resolved that no official position should deprive 
him of the society of his wife and two remaining daugh- 
ters. These two daughters are still living, and were 
both married before the death of their mother. The 
elder, Margaret Livingston Swift, was married to Wil- 
liam M. Spackman, a prominent lawyer of the city of 
New York, where she still resides. Mary Eliza Swift, 
a refined lady, was married to the Hon. Gideon S. Ives, 
then of St. Peter, who had been a soldier in the Union 
*army, and who subsequently was mayor of St. Peter, 
a state senator, and lieutenant governor of the state. He 
is now a leading lawyer in St. Paul, and a man of com- 
manding position in the state. 

The memory of Governor Swift will ever be held 
in the highest regard by the people of the state. The in- 
tegrity of his character, his fidelity to public duty, his 
exemplary and spotless life as a citizen, and his devotion 
to family ties, made him a model worthy of the regard 
and admiration of the youth of Minnesota. Governor 
Swift was one of the most interesting personalities of 
his day. A politician in spite of himself, he played a 
role given to but few men. Where others, however as- 
piring and diligent, failed, he obtained honors without 
effort. His private life was stainless. He was singu- 
larly amiable, and of unblemished personal purity in all 
the relations of family or society. His unruffled good 

125 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

nature always made him an agreeable companion. His 
marked characteristic was his persistent hostility to pub- 
lic life. He seemed utterly devoid of ambition and re- 
sisted all offers or opportunities of public preferment. 
His love of home and family overcame all the attrac- 
tions of official distinction. He had absolute confidence 
in his political principles, and never, for an. instant, 
swerved from their earnest support. In his inveterate 
hostility to slavery he was, undoubtedly, an abolitionist. 
Born and reared in the atmosphere of the Western Re- 
serve, in Ohio, his anti-slavery convictions were of na- 
tive growth, and they were surely nursed and strength- 
ened by his experiences in the South. If Joshua R. Gid- 
dings was an abolitionist, then Henry A. Swift was one 



He was of strong religious habits and convictions. 
He is the one man, among all our public men, who ever 
turned a deaf ear to all the allurements of political pre- 
ferment. 



The annual message of Governor Swift, January 11, 
1864, was published as a pamphlet and as the first paper 
(33 pages) in the Executive Documents of the state of 
Minnesota for the year 1863 (St. Paul, 1864). He al- 
luded to the gallant charge of the First Minnesota Regi- 
ment in the battle of Gettysburg, as follows: 

The past year has added new lustre to the achievements of 
our troops. On nearly every important battle field of the war, 
their graves are strewn to mark the glorious share of Minne- 
sota in the progressive triumphs of the Union cause* * * * 

126 



HENRY ADO NIB AM SWIFT. 

On the second and third of July, the first of the gallant 
regiments which Minnesota has sent to the field — that regi- 
ment which already has the names of twenty battles written 
upon its standard — took a prominent part in one of the fierc- 
est struggles of the war. Of the 330 men of the First Min- 
nesota who had survived the disasters and triumphs of the 
Virginia campaigns from Bull Run to Chancellorsville, to plunge 
again with its shattered ranks and bullet-riddled flag into the 
vortex of the conflict at Gettysburg, but ninety -two emerged 
unharmed from the smoke and glorious issue of the struggle. 
One hundred and seventy-five were wounded and fifty-one 
more were added to the immortal roll of its dead heroes, to 
find a sepulchre with over twenty-one hundred other brave 
men from other States, in the cemetery where they fell. 

Of the loyalty of both the great political parties of 
the North in their devotion to the preservation of the 
Union, he said: 

* * * Party spirit and party prejudices were buried 
and forgotten in the all absorbing patriotism of the American 
people, and if they have since revived, it has been only for 
consignment to a more lasting rest, until our country is saved. 
And among the more than half a million of freemen who are 
doing battle today in the holiest cause that ever stained a 
sword, Democrat and Republican stand shoulder to shoulder, 
camp side by side, knowing only a common cause and a com- 
mon enemy. It is a sublime lesson to teach the world. It is 
a glad and useful one for us all, and when this trial shall have 
ended, in the bright career of glory that awaits us, no man 
of this generation can ever forget that in the breast of a 
political opponent the heart swells as fervently with patriotic 
love as in his own. And God grant that out of this bloody 
ordeal may come another spectacle for the admiration of all 
nations, that though brothers have joined in deadly conflict 
on the field of battle, section been arrayed against section 
for destruction, yet when the contest is closed in the removal 
of its incitements and the sure triumph of the Right, the old 
affection may return in overwhelming tide, and through the 
prudence, wisdom, and magnanimity of our national councils, 
the old bond of Union may be strengthened with triple bands. 



127 



^:^w^ ; ; 




STEPHEN MILLER. 



STEPHEN MILLER 

Fourth Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born in Carroll, Perry County, 
Pennsylvania, January 7, 1816, and died 
in Worthington, Minnesota, August 18, 
1881. In the Civil War he became a 
brigadier general. After 1871 he en- 
gaged in railroad business. He was 
governor from January 11, 1864, to 
January 8, 1866; and was a representa- 
tive in the State Legislature in 1873. 



STEPHEN MILLER 

FOURTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 11, 1864, to January 8, 1866 



THIS noted son of Pennsylvania was born in Perry 
county, of that state, January 7, 1861. His 
grandfather, Melchior Miller, came from Germany about 
the year 1785. His father was David, and his mother 
Eosana Darkness Miller. Stephen was educated in the 
common schools of his native county. His first effort 
for himself was to learn the milling business. Later, in 
1837, he became a forwarding and commission merchant 
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, In 1849 and 1852 he was 
elected prothonotary of Dauphin county. In 1853 to 
1855 he edited the Pennsylvania Telegraph, a Whig 
journal at Harrisburg, and in 1855 to 1858 he was, by 
appointment of Governor James Pollock, flour inspector 
at Philadelphia. Some time before this he procured a 
large canvas tent and itinerated a portion of the state as 
a temperance lecturer, meeting with much, success. 

In the spring of 1858, his health being impaired, he 
removed to St. Cloud, Minnesota, for the purpose of re- 
cuperation. There he engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness with Henry Swisshelm, of Pittsburg, Pa., as a 

131 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

partner. Mr. Swisshelm had preceded him, coming lo 
St. Cloud in 1856. 

Mr. Miller at once became quite active in local and 
state politics. He was made delegate to the National 
Eepublican convention at Chicago in I860, and headed 
the Eepublican electoral ticket for Lincoln in that year. 
It was during that celebrated campaign that he held 
some fifty joint discussions in the principal cities and 
towns of the state with Gen. C. C. Andrews, who was the 
Douglas elector. This campaign brought Mr. Miller 
prominently before the people of the whole state, and 
it was generally held that he was much the superior in 
debate. 

He was commissioned as receiver in the United 
States' Land Office, March, 1861, and in May of the 
same year he was offered a captain's commission in the 
regular army. Both of these appointments he declined. 

At the commencement of the Civil War, he and his 
eldest son, Wesley E. Miller, enrolled themselves as pri- 
vate soldiers in the First Minnesota regiment. This son, 
after bravely discharging his duty in several battles, be- 
ing a first lieutenant in the Seventh United States In- 
fantry, was slain at the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 
1863. His second son, Stephen 0., also enlisted as a 
private soldier, in the Sixth Minnesota Volunteers, and 
was, as a reward for good service, made Commissary 
of Subsistence, with the rank of captain. He served 
with General Steele in Arkansas. 



132 



STEPHEN MILLEE. 

Mr. Miller had been a close friend to Governor 
Eamsey back in Pennsylvania, and this early friendship 
served him "well in furthering his fortunes in Minne- 
sota. By reason of his great activity in raising recruits 
for the war, and of his general fitness, Governor Eamsey 
lifted him from the ranks as a private and commissioned 
him lieutenant colonel of the First Minnesota regiment, 
his commission bearing date April 29, 1861. He was 
then in the prime of manhood, being forty-five years of 
age. 

He served faithfully with the "Old First" in num- 
erous engagements. He commanded the right wing of 
the First at the battle of Bull Eun, July 21, 1861, 
when the regiment lost 189 men. He was subsequently 
engaged with the enemy at Yorktown, May 4, 1862; 
at West Point, May 6, 1862; in the two battles at 
Fair Oaks, May 31 and June 1, 1862; in the battles 
of Peach Orchard and Savage's Station, June 29, 
1862; at White Oak Swamp and Nelson's Farm, June 
30, 1862; and in the battle of Malvern Hill, July 31, 
1862. In these several engagements he personally com- 
manded the regiment, and lost ninety-one men in killed, 
wounded, and missing. July 2, 1862, he was rear 
guard on the retreat to Harrison's Landing. September 
15, 1862, he was held in reserve at the battle of South 
Mountain. 

On August 24, 1862, he was commissioned colonel 
of the Seventh regiment of Minnesota infantry, but the 
order from General Halleck to start west did not reach 

133 



GOVBENOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

him until September 17, 1862. He left the First 
regiment for his new command just before the battle 
of Antietam. Judge William Lochren, in his narrative 
of that regiment, speaks of him in these complimentary 
terms: "Here our brave Lieut. Col. Stephen Miller left 
us, on receipt of his commission as colonel of the Sev- 
enth Minnesota regiment. Without military training 
previous to the organization of our regiment, his bravery 
was conspicuous on every battlefield, and endeared him 
to the men, who parted with him with sincere regret." 

He had served with marked courage and skill and 
constant activity from April 1, 1862, to September 
17, 1862, in Gorman's brigade, Sedgwick's division, 
and Sumner's corps. During this time an unfortunate 
fall from his horse occurred, affecting the small of his 
back and his kidneys, so as to render him quite unable to 
ride on horseback. This accounts for his not being in 
personal command of the Seventh regiment during the 
two Indian campaigns* After a short rest at home, in 
St Cloud, he assumed command of the Seventh at Camp 
Release, and was subsequently placed in command of 
Camp Lincoln, near Mankato, where he had charge of 
the three hundred condemned Sioux Indians. December 
4, 1862, Camp Lincoln was attacked by a consider- 
able body of citizens with the purpose of killing the In- 
dian prisoners, but by firmness and wisdom he pre- 
vented a disgraceful scene. 

During December and January, 18tf2, he was in 
command of the post of Mankato. It was a difficult and 
134 



STEPHEN MILLEE. 

perplexing task to care for these Indian prisoners and 
guard them against an irritated and embittered public. 
The delays and uncertainties attending the carrying out 
of the sentence for their execution, as ordered by the 
court martial, aggravated public sentiment in the state, 
and especially in the frontier counties. There appeared 
to be a settled purpose to resort to mob law and violence 
to dispose of the prisoners. But Colonel Miller, though 
sympathizing with public sentiment in believing that 
summary punishment should be meted out to the con- 
demned murderers, was equally hostile to anything sav- 
oring of mob law, and to his heroic firmness is due the 
fact that all attempts of this character were speedily and 
thoroughly squelched. By his manly and decisive pol- 
icy, Colonel Miller won the respect and esteem even of 
the leaders of this rash policy. 

The execution of the thirty-eight condemned Sioux 
Indians at Mankato, December 26, 1862, was entrusted 
by General Sibley to Colonel Miller. It w~as one of the 
most remarkable events of that exciting period. From a 
single scaffold, and at one drop, the thirty-eight mur- 
derers fell at the same moment to their deserved death. 
The writer, as an officer in command at the scaffold dur- 
ing the execution, can never forget this extraordinary 
spectacle, perhaps the most extraordinary ever witnessed 
on American soil. 

From June to September, 1863, Colonel Miller was 
in command of all the forces in garrison in the District 
of Minnesota, during the absence of General Sibley on 

135 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

the Indian expedition of that year. During this period 
he was also engaged under the orders of General Sibley 
in running- a line of posts for the defense of the frontier, 
from Paynesville, Stearns county, south to Port Ridgely, 
and thence in a due south course to the Iowa line. The 
stockades were about ten miles apart, and daily com- 
munication was kept up by mounted men. 

October 26, 1863, he was appointed brigadier gen- 
eral of volunteers by the President. This position he re- 
signed January 12th, 1864, to assume the duties of 
governor of the state. 

In August, 1863, the Republican convention nom- 
inated General Miller. for governor of the state on a very 
radical platform. His opponent was the Hon. H. T. 
Welles, a gentleman tif high character and fine ability. 
The war absorbed public attention at the time to the 
exclusion of every other question, and on its issues Gen- 
eral Miller was easily elected, receiving 19,628 votes, and 
Welles, 12,739. He entered upon the duties of the chief 
executive of the state January 11, 1864, following 
Henry A. Swift, an executive who left behind him an 
enviable record for capacity, patriotic devotion to duty, 
and unblemished integrity. 

Governor Miller was in the executive chair during 
the closing years of the rebellion, and in many ways 
demonstrated his intense patriotism in caring for the 
soldiers yet in the field and on their return home. He 
was also diligent in calling the attention of the War De- 

136 



STEPHEN MILLER. 

partment to deserving officers, and secured for such 
man}' brevet promotions, and for others appointments in 
the regular army. While in office he delivered two mes- 
sages, his inaugural address and one annual message. 1 
They are plain and practical documents, presenting a 
comprehensive view of the condition and resources of the 
state. Special attention was given in urging measures 
for the relief of all soldiers who required assistance, 
either for themselves or their families. His paternal 
care and solicitude for these exhibited the tenderness of 
his heart. His administration of a single term of two 
years was mainly devoted to closing Minnesota's con- 
nection with the various interests growing out of the 
Civil War. The old veterans hold him in sweet remem- 
brance, for to them he was like a kind, indulgent 
father, or a warm-hearted, affectionate brother. 

After retiring from the executive office, January 
8th, 1866, he was for a time without any public employ- 
ment or special private business. 2 In June, 1871, he en- 
tered into the service of the St. Paul and Sioux City 
Eailroad Company, as general superintendent of its large 
land interests in southwestern Minnesota, and resided at 
Worthington. During this period he was, in 1873, 



*See Governors' Messages, * 1857 to 1874, in the Historical 
Society Library. 

2 Governor Miller was not a candidate for re -nomination 
and received no second term. The reasons for this were of a 
sad character, and in no wise reflected upon him. His two 
sons had gone to the Pacific coast and were inveigled into 
some depredations upon the United States mail. For this, one 
was punished and both were morally wrecked. The mortified 
father never again asked for public preferment. 

137 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

elected to the legislature and served one session. He 
was also presidential elector at large in 1876, and, as 
messenger, bore the vote to Washington. 

That among our prosaic governors we should find 
one who worshipped at the shrine of the Muses, may 
occasion some surprise. Governor Miller was, .however, 
the guilty man. In 1864, Mrs. W. J. Arnold, of Wa- 
basha, issued a small volume entitled "The Poets and 
Poetry of Minnesota." It was dedicated "To the Hon. 
Stephen Miller, Governor of Minnesota, the Soldier, the 
Patriot, the True Friend." The fair compiler of this 
unique volume claims to admit only poems of merit, and 
those the best of each author. She claims to have 
received from Governor Miller efficient advice from the 
commencement of her labors to their close. We find also 
that two others of our public men are generously em- 
balmed in the same volume, the Hon. Ignatius Donnelly 
and Gen. J. H. Baker. This good lady has, with a warm 
and generous heart, rescued some of the poetic sins of 
sophomoric youth from merited oblivion. I know of but 
two copies of this rare volume now in existence, one in 
the Historical Society Library, and the other in the pos- 
session of the writer. The balance of the very limited 
edition was either condemned to the waste basket, or 
sleep in dusty rest in unknown libraries. The volume 
is valuable for its biographical sketches, rather than for 
its poetic fire. Governor Miller's youthful effusions are 
entitled: "Sow in Tears and Eeap with Joy," "Earth's 
Angels," "Things I Want," "A Contrast," "On the 

138 



STEPHEN MILLEE. 

Death of a Loved One," "For an Album," "Little 
Maggie," "Why Don't You Sing as Once You Sung?" 
and "The Sky." No kinder hearted woman than Mrs. 
Arnold ever labored to build a budding literature out of 
such material as she found. The filial bards of the state, 
as such, have gone to their merited f orgetf ulness ; and we 
trust a general amnesty and pardon has been duly issued 
to those of us who, in wayward youth, presumed to strike 
the harp in the ears of the "Weary Nine." 

Stephen Miller was not of the material out of which 
great statesmen are made. We cannot place him in the 
rank of such governors as Ramsey, Sibley, Davis, 
Pillsbury, or Hubbard. But with his good common 
sense, his sterling integrity, his ardent patriotism, his 
broad sympathies, Minnesota can well congratulate her- 
self that he was governor at the time he filled the execu- 
tive chair. Governor Miller was a rough and ready 
speaker, and his remarkable wit, his originality of style, 
and a somewhat brusque manner on the rostrum, made 
him a very attractive and popular speaker among the 
early settlers. He was more anecdotal than any other of 
our governors. He could make the lines very hard for 
an adversary. He thought quickly when on his legs, 
and could instantly perceive an opponent's weakness and 
could take advantage of it. 

No man's private character stood higher in all re- 
spects, and he possessed the most amiable domestic affec- 
tions. He had strong religious convictions, though not a 
member of any church. All his life he was a man of 

139 



GOVERJSTOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

moderate means, and never was a money maker. It is 
sad to note that his last days were somewhat clouded by 
comparative poverty and personal indulgence; but his 
rugged honesty and manly principles were never ques- 
tioned. 

Misfortunes seemed to crowd upon him toward the 
close of his career. The death of his children and of hi* 
beloved wife, after years of harrowing illness, compara- 
tive poverty for himself, all these things beset his later 
years. The general government bestowed a small pen- 
sion on him toward the last, and with this little fund he 
was engaged in preparing a modest home in Worthing- 
ton, a retreat for his declining years. Governor Miller 
was sick for quite a while before death came, but he was 
well and tenderly cared for during his last days. He 
died Thursday evening August 18, 1881, at 10:30 
o'clock, aged sixty-five years, seven months, and eleven 
days. He was buried in the cemetery at Worthington 
the following Saturday, the ceremonies being conducted 
by the Masonic fraternity. 

In 1859 he was married to Miss Margaret Funk, of 
Dauphin county, Pa. To this union there were born 
three sons and one daughter. Wesley F. was a lieuten- 
ant in the Seventh U. S. Infantry, and was killed in the 
battle of Gettysburg on the 2d of July, 1863. He was 
born April 1, 1841. His second son, Stephen C, was 
born May 22, 1842, and was also in the army as Com- 
missary of Subsistence, with the rank of captain. He is 
now in the Treasury Department in Washington, D. C. 

140 



STEPHEN MILLEE. 

Kobert D., born August 18, 1847, died in Pueblo, Col- 
orado, March 17, 1886. The daughter, Elizabeth, died 
February 23, 1848. 

A fine monument to the memory of Governor Miller 
occupies a prominent place in the well-kept cemetery at 
Worthington. The following are the inscriptions, as 
they appear on the monument : 

On the west side, "Stephen Miller, born January 
7th, 1816; died August 18th, 1881. Governor of Min- 
nesota, 1864-1865." 

On the south side, "Enlisted as a private in the 
First Minnesota Volunteers, April, 1861; appointed 
Lieutenant Colonel, April, 1861." 

On the north side, "Appointed Colonel Seventh Min- 
nesota Volunteers, August, 1862; promoted Brigadier 
General, 1863." 

On the east .side, "Erected by his sons, Stephen C. 
and Eobert D. Miller." 

The Worthington Advance noted a strange coinci- 
dence in connection with the death of the Governor: 

"There were no dreadful coincidents connected with 
the death of Governor Miller. A beautiful one did oc- 
cur, however, which is worthy of note. Just after the 
governor died, one of the little apple trees in his lot put 
out a bouquet of snow-white blossoms. Our attention 
having been called to the fact by several persons, we ex- 
amined this beautiful phenomenon and found that on 
none of the other trees were there any signs of blossoms. 
These blossoms were plucked on Saturday and laid on 

141 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

the casket, Nature thus furnishing a fresh bouquet as 
though it were done especially and spontaneously for the 
occasion. This is a fit emblem, at least, of the Gover- 
nor's advent into a higher life. No whiter-souled public 
man has lived during the stirring times of the past 
twenty years, and as he leaves behind the troublesome 
body with its common frailties, and emerges into the 
spirit- world, free and pure in spirit, we can think of no 
more fitting and expressive emblem than this cluster of 
snow-white blossoms bursting into bloom just as his 
spirit bursts into the eternal bloom of the other world." 



The inaugural address of Governor Miller, January 
13, 1864, was published as a pamphlet and as the second 
paper (11 pages) in the Executive Documents of the 
state of .Minnesota for the year 1863 (St. Paul, 1864). 

His annual message of the following year, delivered 
January 4, 1865, was published as a pamphlet of 30 
pages, and as the first paper (pages 9-38) in the Execu- 
tive Documents of the state of Minnesota for the year 
1864 (St. Paul, 1865). The following is its first para^ 
graph : 

In this solemn and momentous crisis in the history of the 
great nation of which we form a part, it is peculiarly appro- 
priate that we as representatives of a Christian people, assem- 
bled to deliberate and act upon grave and important questions 
affecting their welfare, should humbly acknowledge our depen- 
dence upon Almighty God, and invoke his blessing upon our 
labors. We have abundant cause for thankfulness in view of 
the success vouchsafed to the national arms during the past 
year in the struggle with the great rebellion — of the stern de- 
termination of the loyal States, so lately expressed through 
the ballot box, to maintain the integrity of the Republic— of 
our continued progress in all the elements of prosperity, not- 

142 



STEPHEN MILLEB. 

withstanding the great drain upon our resources, and especially 
that our State has been almost entirely relieved from appre- 
hensions of savage raids. The very fact that during the con- 
tinuance of the prolonged and bloody strife with armed traitors, 
most of the great Powers of the World have neither sympa- 
thized with them nor desired their ultimate success, should in- 
duce the American people to cling more closely to the God of 
their fathers, who holds alike in his hand the destinies of na- 
tions, and of men. 

Governor Miller's last message to the legislature, 
January 8, 1866,, was published as a pamphlet and as the 
first paper (29 pages) in the Executive Documents for 
1865 (St. Paul, 1866). The following extracts are se- 
lected from it: 

* * * The great war of the rebellion has been happily 
and successfully closed, and the seceding States have been com- 
pelled to return to their allegiance. Human slavery has ceased 
to exist, and the national authority is restored over the whole 
broad expanse of the Republic. If the hand of the assassin has 
stricken to the earth our late lamented President, in the full- 
ness of his fame, his mantle has fallen upon the shoulders of 
a worthy successor. Our country once more united, and freed 
from the embarrassments of the only institution which dark- 
ened its splendor and impeded its progress, reassumes its posi- 
tion in the front rank of the nations, as the bulwark of hu- 
man liberty, and the hope of the oppressed in every land. 

We have also cause for grateful acknowledgment in the 
condition of our own State during the past year. Pestilence 
has not been permitted to visit us — the granaries of our people 
are filled with the products of a bountiful harvest — many thou- 
sands of our citizen soldiers have returned in safety from an 
active participation in the bloody but successful conflict with 
traitors in arms against the national government, and resumed 
the peaceful vocations from which they were summoned. Our 
population has steadily and rapidly increased, and Minnesota, 
although clothed in the robes of mourning for so many of her 
sons who have fallen in a glorious cause, has reason to pride 
herself upon their gallant achievements in the field, which 
have given her a reputation second to that of no loyal State. 



Nor has the precious sacrifice been made in vain. One year 
ago when clouds and darkness beset our pathway, relying upon 
the justice of God, I said, in my annual message to your prede- 
cessors, that "Our successes would surely culminate in the 

143 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

restoration of the authority of the Government over the se- 
ceding States, in blessings to ourselves and our posterity, and 
in the encouragement of the friends of constitutional liberty 
throughout the world." The prediction has been fully verified 
by subsequent events. Today the ensign of the Union floats 
over every foot of soil pertaining to our common country. 
Its folds protect the resting places of our heroic dead, and its 
presence proclaims "liberty throughout the land unto all the 
inhabitants thereof/' 

It becomes the duty of the National authority to provide 
against a recurrence of the events which have filled the land 
with mourning, and shaken the very pillars of our Republican 
institutions. 

When this shall have been accomplished, the country of 
which we form a part, will, by the blessings of heaven, be 
recognized as the leading power of the world, while Minnesota 
will assume a prominent position in the galaxy of States. 

Commending the interests of our State to you, to my es- 
teemed successor in office, and to the still surer protection of 
a kind and a merciful Providence, I relinquish, with profound 
gratitude to the people of Minnesota, the trust which two years 
ago they confided to my hands. 



144 




WILLIAM R. MARSHALL. 



WILLIAM RAINEY MARSHALL 

Fifth Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born near Columbia, Missouri, 
October 17, 1825, and died in Pasadena, 
California, January 8, 1896. He became 
a brigadier general in the Civil War. 
He served as governor from January 8, 
1866, to January 9, 1870. 



10 



WILLIAM RAINEY MARSHALL 

FIFTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 8, 1866, to January 9, 1870 



TWO of our governors were born south of Mason 
and Dixon's Line, Willis Arnold Gorman in 
Kentucky, and William Eainey Marshall in Missouri. 
Migration from the Bast to the West has been uniform 
and extensive; but from the South to the North there 
has been but little. I am of the opinion that both of 
these prominent men brought with them something of 
the impulsive character of the South, which was modified 
and somewhat subdued by the different atmosphere in 
which they passed their active lives. Both had a natural 
taste for arms, and became good soldiers at the first op- 
portunity. 

William E. Marshall was born near Columbia, Mis- 
souri, October 17, 1825. 

About 1830 young Marshall's parents removed to 
Quincy, 111., where he passed his boyhood and received 
his education in the schools of that town. But it may 
be justly said that he was self-taught in all he knew of 
books. 

147 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

In 1841, with his brother Joseph, he went to the 
lead mines near Galena* 111., where he worked for several 
years. During this period he learned practical survey- 
ing, which seems to have been the extent of his book 
education, though he was always a great reader. 

Sometime in the year 1847, when twenty-two years 
of age, he removed to St. Croix Palls, Wisconsin, and 
made a land and timber claim near the falls on the Wis- 
consin side, which is now included in what is known as 
the Philip Jewell farm. While at St. Croix Falls he 
sold goods, dealt in lumber, was deputy receiver of the 
United States land office, and took a very active part in 
what were called boundary meetings." He was elected 
to the legislature of Wisconsin for the St. Croix Valley 
in 1848; but his seat was successfully contested on the 
ground of non-residence, as he resided west of the west- 
ern line of the new state of Wisconsin. 

In the autumn of 1847 he made a visit to St. 
Anthony Falls, Minnesota, staked out a claim, and cut 
logs for a cabin, but, partially abandoning the claim, he 
returned to St, Croix Falls. However, in 1849, he re- 
' turned to St. Anthony Falls and perfected his claim. 
That same year he was elected to the first Minnesota 
Territorial legislature. While living at St. Anthony, he 
engaged in a general hardware business with his brother 
Joseph. He also surveyed and platted the town of St. 
Anthony for Bottineau and Steele, and made some sur- 
veys of adjacent govejmnent lands. 



148 



WILLIAM RAINEY MAESHALL. 

In 1851, he removed to St. Paul and became a pio- 
neer merchant in the hardware business. The wholesale 
house of Mcols and Berkey, and later Mcols and Dean, 
became the successor of his pioneer store. During the 
same year he continued his survey of public lands. In 
1855, in connection with other parties, he established a 
banking business, and did well till overwhelmed by the 
financial storm of 1857. He then went into dairy farm- 
ing and stock raising, and brought into the state the first 
high-bred cattle. 

In 1861 he purchased the St. Paul Daily Times and 
the Minnesotian, and merged them into the St. Paul 
Press, and this paper at once became the leading Repub- 
lican journal of the state. Such discordant elements as 
existed in the Republican party previous to this consoli- 
dation at once disappeared. Mr. Joseph A. Wheelock, 
a brilliant young writer and at that time Commissioner 
of Statistics, was made editor of the new journal. The 
Press under its new management was friendly to Gover- 
nor Ramsey for the United States senate. Its proprie- 
tors, Marshall and Wheelock, ever afterward remained 
steadfast friends of Ramsey. 

In the fall of 1862, a legislature was elected which 
was to name a new United States senator. The contest 
was sharp, and a new man in the person of the Hon. 
Cyrus Aldrich, member of Congress from the First Dis- 
trict, was named in opposition to Ramsey. To aid in the 
contest a new paper, called the Union, under the control 
of Mr. Frederick Driscoll, was established. The result of 

149 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

this fierce battle was the election of Governor Ramsey, 
and perhaps no parties rendered more efficient service 
than Marshall and Wheelock through the columns of the 
St. Paul Press. The Press had the state printing, said 
to be worth $20,000 a year. The Union was financially 
wrecked by the election of Ramsey and the loss of the 
state printing. But the friends of the two papers solved 
the problem by inducing Driseoil to buy a half interest 
in the Press, and finally Mr. Wheelock bougnt Marshall's 
interest, and under their joint control that paper became 
powerful and prosperous. It never, forgot, however, to 
use its influence for its old friend and founder, Marshall, 
in his future career. 

In response to President Lincoln's second call for 
volunteers, the Seventh Regiment Minnesota Infantry 
was organized. Of this regiment, William Rainey 
Marshall was commissioned by his friend, Governor 
Ramsey, as lieutenant colonel, August 28, 1862. He 
at once began a military career which was conspicuous 
for courage, even to audacity, till he was mustered out of 
service, August 16, 1865. 

His first military act was in joining a party of im- 
provised soldiers under Colonel McPhail for the relief 
of Fort Ridgely. Here for the first time he met part of 
his regiment, and was immediately ordered to join 
General Sibley and march to the relief of Captain Grant 
at Birch Coolie. He had now gathered five companies 
of his regiment, which, in the confusion incident to the 
fierce Indian raid, had been widely scattered, and on 

150 



WILLIAM EAINEY MAESHALL. 

September 22, 1862, lie marched toward Wood Lake, in 
the battle at which place Colonel Marshall bore a con- 
spicuous part. 

During the winter following this important engage- 
ment, he was with several companies of his regiment 
guarding Indian prisoners at Madelia and Mankato. In 
the spring he, with his regiment, was ordered to Camp 
Pope to take part in the great expedition then organizing 
under General Sibley to operate against the hostile 
Sioux, supposed to be now gathered about Devil's Lake, 
in Dakota. Col. Stephen Miller, now colonel of the 
Seventh regiment, had been ordered back to St. Paul to 
the command of the sub-department of Minnesota, in the 
absence of General Sibley. This left Lt. Col. Marshall 
in full command of the Seventh regiment. June 16th, 
1863, the army, under General Sibley, moved from Camp 
Pope and started on its long and tedious march in pur- 
suit of the Sioux. On the Sheyenne river the column 
passed through a grasshopper district where all the grass 
was eaten away by these countless pests to an extent that 
threatened to defeat the purposes of the expedition. The 
heat also was intense, and the torrid temperature sent 
some of the best to the ambulances. July 24 the Sioux 
were encountered at Big Mound. Here the writer wit- 
nessed Colonel Marshall make a superb charge on hun- 
dreds of Indians with his regiment, scattering them in 
every direction. We will not pursue the story of Colonel 
Marshall's history in the campaign against the Sioux. A 
more detailed account of that expedition has been given 

151 



. GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

in the biography of Governor Sibley. We must observe, 
however, that Colonel Marshall was ever a brave and 
efficient officer, never sparing himself in the discharge of 
his duty. 

October 7, 1863, the Seventh regiment was or- 
dered South, with Lieutenant Colonel Marshall in com- 
mand, Colonel Miller yet remaining in control at St. 
Paul. They were ordered to St. Louis, Mo., together 
with the Ninth regiment under command of Col. Alexan- 
der Wilkin, and the Tenth under command of Col. J. H. 
Baker. These regiments subsequently shared fortune to- 
gether in the future of the Civil War. Shortly after go- 
ing South, November 6, 1863, Lt. Col. Marshall was 
promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment, Colonel Miller 
having been promoted to a brigadier-generalship. The 
regiment remained in St. Louis, on provost duty, until 
the 20th of April, 1864, when it was ordered South. 
Arriving at Memphis, Tenn., it was assigned to the right 
wing of the Sixteenth army corps, under Gen. A. J. 
Smith, and in the Third brigade, commanded by Gen. 
J. A. Mower. On the 13th~ of July they were engaged 
in the battle of Tupelo, afterward on the Oxford raid 
and in the pursuit of General Price in Missouri. Ke- 
turning from this, they were sent hurriedly to Nashville, 
Tenn., where they arrived in time to hear the sound of 
the guns at the bloody battle of Franklin. On the 15th 
of December, the regiment, Colonel Marshall command- 
ing, took a conspicuous part in the great battle of Nash- 
ville. In this battle, as usual, Colonel Marshall rode his 

152 



WILLIAM KAINEY MAKSHALL. 

little chestnut horse, Don, which made him a conspicu- 
ous mark on every field. The colonel that day carried 
his gauntlets doubled up on his breast, and they received 
a minie-ball which otherwise would have cost him his 
life. The Sixteenth army corps was now ordered to New 
Orleans, and thence to Spanish Fort on Mobile bay. 

At this time Colonel Marshall, by virtue of the age 
of his commission as colonel, was in command of the bri- 
gade. On the 25th of March, as they were approaching 
the Port, Colonel Marshall, while riding at the head of 
his brigade, was wounded, the ball passing through the 
side of his neck and out near the spine. He kept on 
duty in spite of the orders of his surgeon. The wound 
was severe, though not dangerous. The rebels evacu- 
ated Spanish Port on the night of April 8, and this 
virtually closed the war for Colonel Marshall and his 
regiment. 

On the 20th of July, the Seventh regiment, Colonel 
Marshall once again in command, started for home, and 
arrived at St. Paul August 8. Here Colonel Mar- 
shall^ commission as a brevet brigadier general, dated 
March 13, 1865, reached him. On arriving at Port 
Snelling he issued a farewell order, "General Orders "No. 
10." He parted with his men, taking each man by the 
hand, the tears rolling down his cheeks. Thus, after 
three years of arduous service, he parted tenderly with 
his regiment and closed his military career. He was 
mustered out of service August 16, 1865. It had been 
a field of honor and glory for him, and I hesitate not 

v 153 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

to say the noblest and brightest period of his eventful 
life. 

Returning to the duties of private life, it was not 
long till he began an active political career. He had 
always been an earnest Republican, and in 1855 had 
presided over the convention which organized the Re- 
publican party in Minnesota. In heart and action he 
was thoroughly identified with that party. He still had 
behind him the influence of the St. Paul Press and the 
Ramsey wing of the party. Stephen Miller's guberna- 
torial term was about to close. The Republican con- 
vention was called to meet in Ingersol Hall, September 
6, 1865. The candidates were Charles D. Gilfillan of 
St. Paul, a very worthy and able man; Gen. John T. 
Averill of Lake City, a gentleman of the highest per- 
sonal character and a soldier with a good record; and 
Gen. William R. Marshall, whose good record, up to 
this date, we have spread before the reader. At the 
start, Averill was well in the lead and Marshall second. 
Singularly Marshall began to lose badly, and his cause 
was considered hopeless. Suddenly, however, one of 
those little political cyclones which often occur in con- 
ventions took place, and the twenty-second ballot brought 
Marshall unexpectedly the nomination. 

His opponent was the Hon. Henry M. Rice, a 
Democrat of distinction and ability, and formerly a 
United States senator. A joint debate was cunningly 
devised between them. Neither were public speakers, 
and the display of oratory was not brilliant, and after 

154 



WILLIAM EAINEY MAESHALL. 

complimenting each other as good and noble old set- 
tlers they hastily dropped the joint debate. 1 Marshall 
was elected, receiving 17,318 votes, while Bice had 13,- 
842, and Marshall became governor January 8, 1866. 

An examination of his messages exhibits a careful 
consideration of the economical condition of the state's 
affairs and its public institutions. In his inaugural ad- 
dress he felicitates the people of Minnesota upon the 
discovery bf gold at Vermilion lake, which, however, 
proved to be unfounded. In the year 1866, Major T. 
M. Newson, of St. Paul, a noted character in his day, 
organized a company and was its president, which pros- 
pected for gold at Vermilion lake. It caused great 
excitement and aroused great hopes at the time, but 
proved a sad failure. The gold was not there; it was 
iron, which in time became a gold mine of fabulous 
wealth. 

During Marshall's term of office the regimental 
flags of the several regiments engaged in the Civil War 
were gathered and turned over to the state, and were de- 
posited in a suitable case in the rotunda hall of the 
old capitol. They have since been transferred to the 
new capitol and placed in metallic cases where they will 
remain, perhaps for centuries, as mute but eloquent 
witnesses of the heroism of the men who bore them. 

It was during his first term of office that the grant 
of five hundred thousand acres of land for "Internal Im- 



X H. P. Hall's Observations, page 67. 

155 



GOVERNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

provements' was secured from the general government by 
the suggestion of the Hon. E. P. Drake. 

It was largely to his efforts, while governor* that 
the word "white" was stricken from the constitution of 
Minnesota. 

In 1869 he vetoed the bill for the removal of the 
state capital to Kandiyohi county, where the lands 
granted by Congress for a state capital were located. 

He urged the payment of whatever "might be justly 
due" on the old state railroad bonds, a serious question 
which haunted every governor till their final adjustment 
under Pillsbury. 

In 1867 Marshall was a candidate for re-election, 
his Democratic opponent being Charles E. Plandrau, 
who was then living in Minneapolis. Marshall's ma- 
jority was greater than in the previous election, the vote 
for Marshall being 34,874, and for Plandrau, 29,502. 

During the two terms he was governor of the state 
there were no great or exciting questions of state policy, 
except that of the adjustment of the old state railroad 
bonds. It was an era of peace in which the state grew, 
its population doubled, and its wealth also doubled, 
while its railroad mileage quadrupled. He dealt only 
with present and practical questions, and wholly ignored 
remote and speculative matters. He fully believed that 
the less legislation we had, the better it would be for 
the people. 

January 7, 1870, he retired from the executive 
office, to be followed by the Hon. Horace Austin. 

156 



WILLIAM EAINEY MAESHALL. 

On the conclusion of his term of office, Marshall 
again engaged in banking, and became vice president of 
the Marine National Bank> and president of the Minne- 
sota Savings Bank. In 1874 he was appointed a mem- 
ber of the Board of Kailroad Commissioners, and in 
November, 1875, there being a change in the law, he 
was elected railroad commissioner, the old commission 
being abolished, and he was re-elected in 1877. It does 
not appear from any record that he was very active in 
that capacity, as the writer, who succeeded him, never 
was able to secure any books or records covering the 
transactions of the office during his term. He held the 
office from January 6, 1876, to January 10, 1882. 

Subsequently he was engaged in several business en- 
terprises, in which, however, he was not very successful. 
Arriving in Minnesota two years before the organization 
of the territory, he lived cotemporaneously with all its 
development and progress, in which he bore an honor- 
able and often an important part. In fact, no governor 
of the state had a more eventful career. His business 
enterprises were exceedingly numerous. With robust 
health and restless energy, and having no regular pro- 
fession, he was immersed in almost every avocation and 
pursuit incident to a growing young territory and state. 
It was always regretted by his friends that his push and 
energy did not receive some adequate reward. But amid 
it all, his integrity and personal honor ever remained 
unsullied. 



157 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

His military career is that period of his life 
which was the most conspicuous, and which brought him 
just fame and crowned him with other rewards in the 
important positions he subsequently held. He was of 
that make and material of which good soldiers are made, 
and had he been a West Point graduate at the time of 
the war, he would surely have achieved great renown. 

He was always actively interested in the Minnesota 
Historical Society as a promoter and contributor, and 
in 1868 was its president. In 1893 he was elected its 
secretary, but ill health made it necessary for him to 
resign in 1894, when he went to Pasadena, California, 
with the hope of recovery. His friends, however, con- 
tinued him as the nominal secretary until March, 1895. 

Governor Marshall was a member of the Minnesota 
Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, both 
of his grandfathers, Lieutenant David Marshall and 
Private Daniel Shaw, having been Revolutionary soldiers 
in the Pennsylvania line. 

No one can speak of him more understanding^ 
than his pastor, the Rev. Edward C. Mitchall, who pays 
him this beautiful tribute: 

'^William R. Marshall was a man whom it was 
easy to love. He was large-hearted, broad-minded and 
intellectual, generous, sympathetic, genial and consider- 
ate, and unusually versatile in his activities. At the 
time of his death, the press of our state expressed its 

158 



WILLIAM BAINBY MAESHALL. 

high estimate of his character, his ability, and his use- 
fulness, as a brave soldier, an able statesman, and a 
public-spirited citizen. And it is for me, as his pastor 
for the last twenty-three years of his life, to speak of 
him as a man; of his loving faith in the Word of God; 
his steadfast trust in Divine Providence; the purity and 
beauty of his social life; his unswerving loyalty to every 
good cause; his tender sympathy with all who suffered; 
his uncompromising opposition to all forms of meanness; 
his chivalrous championing of all who were oppressed; 
his dominant cheerfulness; his freedom from vindic- 
tiveness; his generous confidence in the good intentions 
of others; his patient bearing under severe trials and 
sufferings. He was an active member of the New Jeru- 
salem (or Swedenborgian) Church, and one of those 
who united in forming the Society of that Church, in 
St. Paul, in 1873. He was a good man to live with, 
and he endeared himself to all who came in close con- 
tact with him. * * * He lacked the cautious cal- 
culation, the habitual attention to petty details, and the 
cool foresight which always allows for unforeseen con- 
tingencies. 

"Commercially speaking he left little behind him, 
of this world's goods; but, speaking from a spiritual 
standpoint, there are few men who carry more with 
them to the world beyond." 

Governor Marshall died at Pasadena, California, 
January 8, 1896. His remains were brought to St. 
Paul and buried in Oakland Cemetery. 

159 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

On March 22, 1854, William E. Marshall was mar- 
ried to Miss Abby Langford, one of the most estimable 
of women, of TJtica, New York. She was a sister of 
the Hon. Nathaniel P. Langford, the president of the 
Historical Society, of the late Mrs. William A. Spencer, 
and of the late Mrs. James W. Taylor, of St. Paul. 
Mrs. Marshall died December 23, 1893. To Governor 
and Mrs. Marshall there was born but one child, George 
Langford Marshall, who died April 21, 1892, leaving 
a widow and a daughter, Alice. These were with the 
Governor when he died in California. 



The inaugural address of Governor Marshall, Jan- 
uary 8, 1866, was published in the Executive Documents 
of the state of Minnesota for the year 1865", pages 31-38 
(St. Paul, 1866). It is in part as follows: 

The munificent endowment of our schools — already nearly 
a million dollars in funds, and millions more to be realized 
from the lands — needs for its application the most perfect sys- 
tem, the best talent and the largest experience that can be 
commanded. * * * 



State charitable institutions demand immediate attention. 
It is due to the State that an enlarged philanthropy should 
characterize its efforts for. its helpless ones. These children of 
sorrow, the blind, the dumb, the insane, have a claim upon us 
that we cannot disregard. If speedy action for their relief 
is not taken it will be a reproach to our Christian civilization. 
Happily the work is no experiment. Enlightened philanthropy 
has developed these works of mercy into complete systems, and 
the only question is, have we the will and ability to do our 
whole duty. No questions of expediency should fetter us in 
so plain obligations. Both in respect to these and educational 
institutions, parsimony is the worst extravagance. No State 
was ever impoverished by liberality to these great interests. 

160 



WILLIAM EAINBY MARSHALL. 

Generally, I commend care and thorough deliberation on 
every subject before you. Your wisdom will best be shown in 
enacting only ten laws unmistakably necessary and thoroughly 
matured, rather than hundreds of acts, some of doubtful neces- 
sity, and few receiving that careful consideration that public 
laws demand. 

An important reform can be effected in this regard. Let 
it be our record that a small amount of work was well done, 
rather than a large amount hurriedly and poorly done. 



In conclusion, I can only assure you that I shall welcome 
the enactment, and faithfully aid in the execution of all meas- 
ures which shall tend to promote the material development of 
the State, and the moral advancement of the people; which 
shall promote wealth, yet check its undue influence through the 
power of associated capital; which shall secure the interests of 
labor — free, intelligent labor, the very basis of our social and 
political system; which shall enlarge and diffuse the blessings 
of popular education — the main pillar of Free Government; 
which shall provide for those benevolent institutions which are 
the crown of modern civilization; which shall fulfill the obliga- 
tions of the State to her gallant soldiery, in whose hands the 
sign and symbol of our nation's sovereignty — our Starry Flag — 
was borne aloft amid the smoke and carnage of a hundred bat- 
tles; finally, which shall advance the standard of public morals 
and life in this home of our adoption — this scene of our activi- 
ties and hopes — our own commonwealth of Minnesota, and that 
shall add to the greatness and grandeur of that ONE NATION 
that makes each man of us proud of the name of an American 
citizen. 

Marshall's annual message of January 10, 186^, 
published as a pamphlet and also as the first paper, £6 
pages, in the Executive Documents of the State of 
Minnesota for the year 1866 (St. Paul, 1867), contains 
the following estimate of the population of the state: 

The result of the state census of June 1, 1865, together 
with the returns of the school population on the 30th of Sep- 
tember of the same year, afford a basis for a close estimate 
of the population of the state on the 1st of June last. On 
this basis, after allowing for a few palpable omissions in the 
last school reports, the population of the state on the 1st of 
June last was 310,000. The immigration into the state subse- 
quent to that date far exceeds that of any corresponding pe- 
ll 161 



GOVEBNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

riod, since the territorial or state organization. The evidences 
of this fact from all quarters are uniform and conclusive. 
The total immigration of 1866 is variously estimated at from 
40,000 to 75,000. I deem 30,000 as a moderate estimate of the 
total increase since the last named date, which will make the 
present total population of the state 340,000. 

January 10., 1868, Governor Marshall delivered his 
annual message to the tenth legislature of this state, 
which was published as a pamphlet and as the first paper, 
30 pages, of the Executive Documents for 1867 (St. 
Paul, 1868). A passage entitled "Impartial Suffrage" 
is quoted below. 

The amendment to the constitution striking out the word 
"white" as a qualification of electors submitted at the last 
election, failed of adoption by minority of 1,315 votes in a 
total vote on the question of over 56,000. Two years ago when 
the same question was submitted it failed, lacking 2,327 in a 
total vote of 26,000, showing a very considerable advance of 
sentiment in favor of equal political rights for all men. 

This question involves a principle vital in free government. 
It will triumph. I recommend that you again, submit the ques- 
tion to the people. 

"For freedom's battle once begun 
******** 

Though baffled oft, is ever won." 

It is a proud record of any party or any people that they 
espouse the cause of the oppressed and despoiled — that they re- 
spect the rights of the weakest and humblest. It will be a" 
proud day for Minnesota when she shall, by popular vote, re- 
move from her constitution the disfranchisement of a class — 
having its origin in the prejudice of caste growing out of the 
enslavement of a race^rfrom whom she demands and has re- 
ceived the honorable service of the soldier, and whom she taxes 
without representation. 

The annual message of Marshall to the eleventh 
legislature, January 7, 1869, was published in the Ex- 
ecutive Documents for 1868 (St. Paul, 1869) as the 
first paper, 22 pages, and also separately as a pamphlet. 

162 



WILLIAM EAINEY MARSHALL. 

It contains the following passage in regard to the state 
constitutional amendment which had recently passed > 
giving the ballot to colored men. 

The progress of communities in the elements of perma- 
nent well-being is most truly recorded, not in the increase of its 
wealth, not in the development of its material interests, but 
in the advance towards the realization of that Divine rule of 
justice and brotherhood, which is the golden law of liberty. 

More, then, than on your abounding wealth, I feel disposed 
to congratulate you on the final triumph, at the last election^ 
of the amendment to the State Constitution, wiping out for- 
ever from our organic law the unrepublican principle that this 
is a government for only part of the people, and establishing 
equal manhood suffrage as the fundamental law of the com- 
monwealth. The free young State of Minnesota — now alto- 
gether free — proclaims from all her statutes that justice and 
liberty are the sure inheritance of all who, from the oppres- 
sions of the Old World or the New, seek an asylum within her 
borders. 

Under date of January, 1869, Governor Marshall 
issued a special message to the Legislature, relating to 
the state railroad bonds of the "Five Million Loan/* 
and transmitting copies of letters and memorials re- 
ceived from holders of the bonds. In this message, 
published, with the accompanying papers, in a pamphlet 
of thirteen pages, the governor said: 

I have heretofore indicated to the Legislature that it 
seemed to me expedient that the five hundred thousand acres 
of internal improvement lands should be devoted to the pay- 
ment of these bonds. Time serves to strengthen this convic- 
tion. * * * 

In my judgment, the duty of the State to enter upon an 
adjustment of this suspended debt, begins the moment the State 
has the convenient means and ability to do so. 

We have the example of the State of Michigan before us, 
in which a suspended debt twice greater than ours, and es- 
sentially of a similar character, was equitably and satisfac- 
torily adjusted. 

We have the example of the State of Illinois, which, in 
the attempt to build railroads and canals by the use of her 
State credit, broke down with not a mile of railroad completed, 

163 



GOVEKIsrQRS OF MINNESOTA. 

and with a debt of fifteen million dollars — six times greater 
than the nominal debt of Minnesota — and for years the State 
of Illinois did not pay a dollar of interest; yet when prosperity 
returned to her she' promptly met the holders of her bonds and 
made satisfactory adjustment of the last dollar of her obliga- 
tions. * * * 

Marshall's last annual message to the Legislature, 
January 7, 1870, was published in pamphlet form and 
as the first paper, 30 pages, in the Executive Docu- 
ments of Minnesota for 1869 (St. Paul, 1870). Char- 
acteristic paragraphs near the end of this address are as 
follows : 

Looking back over the period during which I have been 
connected with the State government — humbled by the feeling 
that I have been able to do so little for the State — I am yet 
proud of what the people and the spontaneous agencies of pub- 
lic advancement have achieved. During that period the popula- 
tion of the State has almost doubled. Its wealth has quite 
doubled. Its railroads have quadrupled. Its educational funds 
and facilities have increased manifold. Its noble public chari- 
ties — the highest marks of our civilization — have, most of them, 
been founded, and all of them advanced, to high positions of 
usefulness. The resources of the State, by the half million 
acres- of internal improvement lands and other liberal grants for 
important railroads have been greatly augmented. , I am pro- 
foundly grateful for the providence that has connected me with 
the government during so interesting and prosperous a period, 
and I yet look forward to gather results in the future, under 
wiser and abler administrations. 



I am profoundly impressed with the belief that evil lies 
in the direction of too much legislation and governing rather 
than too little. The fewer, simpler and more stable the laws, 
the better. The less interference the better, with the ever 
present natural laws that govern individuals and society with 
unerring rule of right. 

I am taught ever renewed thankfulness for our beneficent 
political institutions, that our government, State and National, 
gives such large liberty and such large opportunity to each 
and all its citizens. This is the source of our marvelous pros- 
perity, of our wonderful progress in the arts of peace, and of 
our might in war. 

164 



WILLIAM R A I N E Y MARSHALL. 

And now, after seven full years of public service, military 
and civil, deeply grateful to my fellow citizens for the un- 
merited honors they have conferred upon me, I gladly resign to 
the eminent citizen, who has been called from another depart- 
ment of honorable public service, the trust which was commit- 
ted to my hands. I exchange it willingly for the more con- 
genial pursuits of private life. There, in the ranks of useful 
laborers, I hope henceforth to contribute my personal share to 
the well-being of our Commonwealth, my well beloved State. 

The two following papers by Governor (and Gen- 
eral) Marshall have been published by the Minnesota 
Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion 
of the United States, in their series of volumes entitled 
"Glimpses of the Nation's Struggle." 

Eeminiscences of General U. S.. Grant (First Series, 
1887, pages 89-106). 

Some Letters by General W. T. Sherman, U. S. 
A., chiefly relating to Shiloh, read November 8, 1892 
(Fourth Series, 1898, pages 605-614). 

i 

An Obituary Sketch of Senator Henry M. Bice, read 
by Governor Marshall at a meeting of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, February 12, 1894, is in this Society's 
Collections, Volume IX, 1901, pages 654-658. 



165 




HORACE AUSTIN. 



HORACE AUSTIN 

Sixth Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born in Canterbury, Conn., 
October 15, 1831, and died in Minne- 
apolis, Minn., November 7, 1905. He 
was Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, 
1865-69, and was Governor from Janu- 
ary 9, 1870, to January 7, 1874, and 
subsequently held several subordinate 
offices. 



HORACE AUSTIN 

SIXTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 9, 1870, to January 7, 1873 



THIS great and marvelous state — this infant Her- 
cules — has usually been careful in selecting its 
governors. Their personality and characteristics have 
reflected the character and intelligence of our people, not 
perhaps as men of letters, not as orators, not as heroes 
laureled from the war, but as men substantially represen- 
tative of the people who have chosen them. There are 
men of vital importance to the state, of whose service 
history takes but little heed. It is not the man of genius, 
nor the orator who is ablaze with wit, who does most and 
best for his country. But it is the man who, though un- 
skilled in these brilliant arts, aids in keeping the state in 
the paths of justice and public righteousness, who brings 
comfort and happiness, contentment and prosperity to 
his fellows, who opens up the highways of commerce, 
who fosters schools and colleges, and in all proper.. ways 
brings to pass practical things for the state. 

In all, we have had eighteen governors, territorial 
and state. I would not- attempt the appraisement of the 
intellectual character or quality of service of our guber- 
natorial roster. Every governor was in some peculiar 

169 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

degree the mirror of his times. His nomination and 
election were controlled by peculiar existing conditions. 
In all the roster of our chief executives there is little or 
nothing of which to be ashamed, and much of which we 
may justly be proud. Occasionally the public intelli- 
gence and the public conscience may appear to have 
slumbered, but uniformly public alertness and public 
scrutiny have secured the elevation of able men to the 
executive chair. 

Horace Austin was born October 15, 1831, at Can- 
terbury, Connecticut. He was the son of a substantial 
farmer, and the family was of stern New England stock. 
He was reared on the home farm. His education, after 
the public school, was finished at an academy in Litch- 
field, Maine. Subsequently he taught in Belgrade Acad- 
emy, of which institution he was for a short time the 
principal. Prom there he went to Augusta, Maine, and 
studied law in the office of the Hon. Lot Morrill, for 
many years a United States senator; 

Smitten with the Western fever, in 1856 he turned 
his ambitious footsteps to the West in search of home 
and fortune, and finally located at St. Peter, Minnesota. 
He was then twenty-five years of age. He at once began 
the practice of his profession as a lawyer. 

In 1862, on the breaking out of the Indian war, he 
promptly enlisted as a private in the "St. Peter Frontier 
Guards." He was afterward made first lieutenant of the 
company. He was in the second battle of New Him. 
Immediately afterward the First Regiment of Mounted 

170 



HOKACE AUSTIN. 

Eangers was organized by Colonel Samuel MePhail. For 
this regiment Horace Austin raised Company B, and was 
mustered as captain into the service of the United States 
for the Indian war, October 29, 1862. He was then 
thirty-one years of age. This regiment made a splendid 
record in defense of the homes of the frontier. At 
Camp Baker it was the fortune of the .writer to see 
Captain Austin lead a gallant charge against the infuri- 
ated savages. 

His next step was a judicial one. There was a gen- 
eral conviction that he was a sound lawyer, and, without 
much opposition, he was elected judge of the Sixth 
Judicial District in 1864. It was soon observed that he 
was an independent, upright, and fearless judge. This 
fact paved the way for another and greater preferment. 

The advent of Judge Austin into politics was quiet 
and unostentatious. The Republican state convention of 
1869 met September 9 at St. Paul. There seemed to 
be an opportunity for the nomination of a safe and pru-. 
dent man. Judge Austin's reputation in his judicial dis- 
trict was of the best, and that district presented his name 
with perfect unanimity. The vote was quite a surprise 
and he was nominated on the first ballot, the vote stand- 
ing Austin 147, Donnelly 64, and McKusick 17. His 
Democratic opponent was George L. Otis, a lawyer of St. 
Paul, a gentleman of high standing and marked ability. 
The campaign was rather a lifeless affair. The Republi- 
cans came near losing the election. Austin received 
27,348 votes; Otis 25,401; and Daniel Cobb, the Prohibi- 

171 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

tion candidate, 1,764. Austin's plurality oyer Otis was 
but 1,947. He was elected by the smallest majority the 
Republicans had ever received in the state. 

A study of his messages gives a very favorable idea 
of the man, of the qondition of the state, and of the im- 
portant measures he earnestly advocated. The firmness 
and decisive character which he developed commended 
him more to the people than it did to the politicians. 
He advocated a complete revision of the criminal code; 
he opposed special legislation; he urged that the state 
and federal elections should occur on the same day; and 
when a subservient legislature apportioned the internal 
improvement lands among certain railroad corporations, 
he promptly vetoed the proposition, and secured the adop- 
tion of a constitutional amendment prohibiting the leg- 
islature from squandering these lands without consent of 
the voters. 

Subsequently, and after the adoption of this con- 
stitutional amendment, during his second term, an act 
was passed authorizing the division of the proceeds of the 
sale of these internal improvement lands for the special 
purpose of paying the "Minnesota Railroad Bonds/' 
This proposition was ratified by the people at the next 
ensuing election by a vote of 18,257 yeas, to 12,489 nays. 

He suggested the wisdom of a convention to revise 
the constitution, the old one having served its day and 
usefulness. But the proposition failed then, and subse- 
quently in 1896. 



172 



HOEACE AUSTIN. 

Perhaps the most important act of his administra- 
tion was his veto of the proposition to divide among the 
various railroads of the state what were known as the 
"Internal Improvement Lands." A strong combination 
of railroad interests secured the passage of an act for 
that purpose. The pressure on Government Austin to 
sign the bill was intense. But his firmness was equal to 
the occasion and the veto came. After full considera- 
tion of his act, the wisdom of the veto was seen and cor- 
dially approved by the general public. The result as to 
these lands was as above stated. 

After serving as governor for two years with honor 
and fidelity, he was renominated in 1871 without oppo- 
sition. The result of the election was a triumphant vin- 
dication of his conduct as chief executive. The Demo- 
cratic candidate was Winthrop Young. A Prohibition 
candidate, Samuel Mayall, was also in the field. The 
vote was as follows: For Austin, 46,950; for Young, 
30,376; and for Mayall, 846. 

On the 13th of July, 1870, Daniel S. Norton, mem- 
ber of the United States Senate, having died, Governor 
Austin appointed Hon. William Windom, then a mem- 
ber of Congress from the First District, to fill the va- 
cancy till the meeting of the legislature. 

When the legislature convened, Ozora Pier son 
Stearns was elected to fill the yet unexpired term of the 
late Senator Norton. At the same time, William Win- 
dom was elected senator for the full term beginning 



173 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

March 4, 1871. Senator Stearns occupied the position 
for less than two months. 

During the administration of Governor Austin a 
very extraordinary event occurred, the only one of its 
kind in the history of the state. It was in the winter of 
1873 that the great state treasury defalcation was discov- 
ered. William Seeger was state treasurer. Governor 
Austin's message gave a very satisfactory statement of 
the condition of the state treasury. It showed a balance 
in the treasury of $243,300. 

As the people had voted in the preceding fall to is- 
sue a quarter of a million of bonds to construct neces- 
sary buildings for the state institutions, the question 
arose, where is this $243,300 surplus, and why is it not 
made applicable to the situation? In the Senate W. G. 
Ward, of Waseca county, offered a resolution to ascertain 
whether the surplus funds reported in the governor's 
message were actually in the vaults of the treasury, or 
loaned to banks or individuals. The resolution was 
passed, and Senators Ward, B. B. Langdon, and L. F. 
Hubbard, were so appointed. As the investigation pro- 
ceeded, it began to be clear that this money was not in 
the state treasury, or at least that $180,000 was missing. 
Mr. Seeger seemed inclined not to give information as to 
its actual whereabouts, but insisted that the money could 
and would be faithfully accounted for, and the state was 
fully protected by his bondsmen. He also insisted that 
not one cent of the moneys of the state had ever been 
perverted to his own use. 
174 



HORACE AUSTIN. 

The result was that a resolution was offered in the 
House, asking William Seeger to resign his office as state 
treasurer. Being advised by his attorneys, he declined 
to do so. It appeared that the missing money had been 
used to cover the actual deficit of Seeger^s predecessor, 
Emil Munch; that when he took the treasurership, See- 
ger accepted Emil Munches note for $112,000 as cash. 
This, and an additional sum, Seeger was carrying for 
Munch, in the hope that the latter would retrieve certain 
personal losses and restore the missing funds. The in- 
vestigation exposed the whole situation. 

A resolution was immediately passed, ordering See- 
ger's impeachment. During the progress of the im- 
peachment proceedings, Seeger, by the advice of his at- 
torneys, resigned. He sent his resignation to Governor 
Austin, and it was accepted by him. The governor was 
criticised considerably for so doing. 

There was much sympathy for Seeger, as it became 
evident that he was the tool of other parties. Seeger's 
bondsmen were very responsible men. They proved to 
have a high sense of honor, and the state recovered 
promptly every dollar, principal and interest. The 
bondsmen of the state treasurer were Horace Thompson 
and Maurice Auerbach, of St. Paul, Charles Scheffer, of 
Stillwater, Emil Munch, who was the son-in-law of 
Seeger, and Adolph Munch, brother of the former state 
treasurer. Mr. Maurice Auerbach, the only one of the 
unfortunate bondsmen now living, states that this en- 
dorsement cost him personally $100,000. 

175 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Mr. Seeger was regularly impeached and removed 
from office, in spite of his resignation. Edwin W. Dyke 
was appointed treasurer by Governor Austin to fill the 
remainder of Seeger's term. Soon afterward, the legis- 
lature hedged the state treasury about with such ample 
provisions of law that such an event could not happen 
again. 

There was no attempt made to criminally prosecute 
any one. While the Republicans felt that the party had 
received a strain, yet the Democrats did not avail them- 
selves of the opportunity to make a fuss about this flag- 
rant crime. 

In 1873, there began to be much activity in the 
political arena in reference to the selection of a United 
States Senator. Governor Ramsey was anxious for a 
re-election ; Governor Austin was active for securing' his 
own election to the Senate, but was not favorable to 
the re-election of Ramsey. Many opponents of Ramsey 
presented, as their candidate, William D< Washburn. The 
St Paul Dispatch was especially bitter against Ramsey, 
and in stirring editorials advocated a revolt against what 
it termed the "Old fogies." The Dispatch's candidate 
for governor was Cushman K. Davis, who was then 
"United States district attorney. When the state con- 
vention finally assembled, General L. F. Hubbard pre- 
sented a letter from Governor Austin, declining to be a 
candidate. This left the contest substantially between 
Washburn and Davis. On the fourth and final ballot, 



176 



H K A C E AUSTIN. 

Davis received 155, and Washburn 152. The young Ke- 
publicans had forged to the front. 

Austin, after retiring from the governor's chair, was 
appointed by President Grant Third Auditor of the 
United States treasury, a position which he held for 
four years. He served under three successive secretaries 
of the treasury, Bristow, Morrill, and Sherman. He was 
then appointed register of the United States land office 
in Fargo, Dakota, which position he held seven years. 
During the Austin administration, the counties of 
Aitkin, Yellow Medicine, Lac qui Parle, Becker, Carlton, 
Clay, Cottonwood, Kanabec, Lyon, Nobles, Rock, Stevens, 
Swift, Cass, Murray and Wilkin, were organized. 

In a compendium of the important laws passed dur- 
ing his administration, the following are worthy of 
note: A revision and codification of all laws relating 
to common and Normal schools; a reciprocal general in- 
surance law; the establishment of a state board of health; 
a division of the state into three congressional districts; 
to regulate and restrict railroads; Canada thistles pro- 
nounced a common nuisance, and fines imposed for not 
preventing their growth; geological and natural history 
survey of the state under the supervision of the State 
University. 

During this period occurred the presidential election 
of 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant was the Eepublican and 
Horace Greeley the Democratic nominee. The vote in 
Minnesota stood, for Grant 90,919; for Greeley, 35,211, 
and for Charles O'Connor, a third candidate, 162. 
12 177 



GOVEKNOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

Keturning to Minnesota and resuming the practice 
of law, Austin was, in 1887, appointed by Governor A. 
K. McGill a railroad commissioner for the state, and 
served from January 12, 1887, to January, 1891. His 
associates in the office were Gen. George L. Becker and 
Hon. John L. Gibbs. 

When Austin became governor, he took Andrew K. 
McGill with him from St. Peter as his private secretary. 
In due time, Governor Austin promoted McGill to be 
Insurance Commissioner. When, in turn, thirteen yean 
later, McGill became governor, he appointed Austin on 
the Eailroad and Warehouse Commission. Thus these 
mutual friends served each other. 

After retiring from public life, in which he had 
spent about thirty years, Austin retained his residence 
in Minneapolis, but his family home was at Mound, 
Lake Minnetonka. In his last days he appeared to float 
about seemingly at sea, without any special purpose in 
life. But the uprightness of his character, his general 
intelligence and pertinent views on all public questions, 
made him a welcome guest among a large circle of friends. 
His private life was one of unsullied purity. His relig- 
ious views were strict, but, in all, liberal. His was not 
a perfect life. In some measure it was incomplete, an 
admirable fragment, of which we can wish there had been 
more. 

If you will study the roster of our governors with 
comparative care, you will find that Horace Austin 
stands well up in the front row, and he bequeaths to the 

178 



HOEACE AUSTIN. 

state an honorable record as one of the best and firmest 
of its executives. 

He made the trip to Alaska in company with his 
friend, F. B. Morrill, of Fargo, and greatly enjoyed it. 
He spent several winters in southern California, where 
he had a small ranch. He bought a team and roanled 
over the country, sometimes prospecting in the mountains 
for minerals. He had an assaying outfit, and amused 
himself in that way, the main intent being to live out of 
doors. It was the writer's privilege in those days to 
meet him often and enjoy his agreeable society in com- 
pany with his lifelong friend, J. K. Moore, formerly 
editor of the St. Peter Tribune. 

In November, 1905, he required a minor surgical 
operation, and for that purpose went to St. Barnabas 
hospital in Minneapolis. He was then in his seventy- 
fifth year, and had just celebrated his birthday with his 
family at Mound, October 15th. His condition for the 
operation was deemed excellent, but unexpectedly a " 
change took place, and to the surprise of his physicians 
his death came suddenly on Tuesday, the seventh of 
November, 1905. Thus ended the days of a noble citi- 
zen, a sound jurist, a brave soldier, and a good governor. 

At the time of his death, and for some time prev- 
ious, he was engaged in writing and compiling his me- 
moirs. We trust that these papers will be given by his 
family to the Minnesota Historical Society for preserva- 
tion and future use. Singularly enough, Governor Mc- 
Gill, his devoted friend, died only one week before Gov. 

179 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

ernor Austin. There was something dramatic in the 
lives of these two governors, so devoted in friendship, so 
nearly allied in death. 

On the day before the operation that resulted in his 
death, Governor Austin wrote the following letter to his 
lifelong personal friend, Prof. Judson Jones, of Cleve- 
land, Minn.: 

"Dear Jud. : Thirty-five years ago three fast friends 
came down the Minnesota valley together to take part in 
the affairs of state* they acted well their parts (at least 
the other two of the three), and they have been sincere 
friends ever since. But on yesterday we laid one of them 
away in sleep at Oakland, and now the little circle is 
broken, one tie is rent asunder. 

"I cannot, as otherwise I would, now write you fully 
of the great sorrow and of the last hours of our dear old 
friend, Andrew* McGill (though there is not much to 
be said of the event itself, his death, which does not ap- 
pear in the public press sent you), for now I am in a 
hospital for a surgical operation. This is my last after- 
noon before it is to take place, and I have many notes 
to send out, many little affairs to attend to, and so can- 
not give much time to either. In the morning I go un- 
der the knife and for two or three weeks thereafter, at 
the best, I shall not be permitted to write, perhaps not 
even read. 

"It is not regarded as a very critical operation, and 
I submit to it with courage and confidence; but in such 

180 



HORACE AUSTIN. 

cases no one knows in advance what the issue may be; so 
it becomes one to be prepared for the worst. And I 
have made a pretty good ready as far as my business mat- 
ters are concerned. As to the rest, having acted on my 
best knowledge and judgment, I have no misgivings. 

"I confidently expect to meet and greet you again 
as we have so often met and greeted each other in the 
past for now almost fifty years; but if in this we should 
be disappointed, I shall go in the hope to meet you and 
greet you in a land that is fairer than this (though this 
to both of us has been kind and beautiful), as well as 
to meet and greet in love and pleasure so many loved 
ones who have gone before and are already 'on that beau- 
tiful shore/ So, my dear old friend, if forever, still for- 
ever fare thee well. 

"As in the goodness of God we have prospered, en- 
joyed many blessings during a long life, so in unlimited 
confidence that His wisdom and grace will prove ample 
for the wants of all His children, here and hereafter, and 
with courage for any fate, I am, as ever, 

Your devoted and sincere friend, 

"HORACE AUSTIN." 

The remains of Governor Austin were cremated at 
his request, and the ashes are buried in Oakland Ceme- 
tery, St. Paul. 

Governor Austin was married in March, 1859, to 
Miss Mary Lena Morrill, of Augusta, Maine. To this 
uniqn were born six children, five daughters and one son, 

181 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

as follows: Mrs. Lenora Hamlin, of Chicago; Alice 
Austin, an artist of Boston; Ida W. Austin, who died 
March 22, 1888; Herbert W. Austin, of St. Paul, now 
with the Northern Pacific Kailway Company; Mabel, 
married to Dr. Ernest Southard, professor in Harvard 
Medical College, Boston; and Helen Horace Austin, 
teacher in the Central High School, St. Paul. They are 
a family of high intellectuality, great and varied talents, 
and marked individuality and force of character. The 
world will certainly be the better for the earnest and 
progressive spirit of their lives. 

The Governor had one brother, George Austin, of 
Everett, Washington, and also a half brother, C. D. 
Austin, of Minneapolis, who are both now living. 



Governor Austin's inaugural address to the Legisla- 
ture, January 7, 1870, was published as a pamphlet of 
25 pages, and also as the second paper in the Executive 
Documents for the year 1869 (St. Paul, 1870). The 
closing part of this address contains the following tri- 
bute to the memory of Austin's fellow townsman, Gov- 
ernor Swift: 

In the struggle for preserving the unity of the republic, 
Minnesota bore her full share. Her gallant troops turned the 
tide of battle on many a hard fought field. Well may we 
congratulate ourselves, therefore, upon the success of the labors 
and sacrifices in which we had a brilliant, if not a command- 
ing part. Here let me speak, without disparagement to others, 
of one of Minnesota's lamented citizens, her dead Governor, the 
noble, generous, self-sacrificing Henry A. Swift, in whose char- 
acter was realized the traits of Wordsworth's "Happy War- 
rior:" 

182 



HORACE AUSTIN. 

"Who if he rise to station of command 
Rises by open means; and there will stand 
On honorable terms; or else retire, 
And in himself possess his own desire." 

His name deserves to be enrolled with those of Andrew, 
Curtin, Morton, and the loyal Governors who realized the 
genius and strength of the rebellion, and rendered such efficient 
aid in its suppression. They were the Lieutenants of the 
President, without whose hearty support failure would have 
been inevitable. / 

The annual message of Austin to the Legislature, 
January 5, 1871, was of unusual length, forming a 
pamphlet of 56 pages, published also as the first paper 
in the Executive Documents for 1870 (St. Paul, 1871). 
Nearly a third of this message is devoted to discussion 
of railway tariffs, on which the governor wrote in part 
as follows : 

In my inaugural address I took occasion to examine the 
popular complaints against the management of the railroads 
within the State, as well as to present, to the best of my 
ability, the facts which the roads plead in justification of their 
course, and, after an examination of the legal bearings of the 
case, took the responsibility of suggesting remedial legislation; 
preliminary to which I advised that a commission be created 
to make full inquiry into the alleged abuses, and who should, 
in case the evils complained of, or other wrongs, were found to 
prevail, present some plan remedying the difficulties. 

My reason for recommending the precautionary step of a 
commission, in advance of other legislation to which the serv- 
ices of the commissioners were designed to be preparatory, 
was not that I questioned the constitutional right of the Leg- 
islature to regulate freight and passenger tariffs, or doubted 
the necessity of so doing, but that you might have before 
you the means of an accurate knowledge of the merits of the 
controversy, gathered from an extended and thorough exami- 
nation of the whole subject in all its relations. 



However plausible the excuse, there can be no doubt that 
the system of freight tariffs and elevator charges practiced 
by some of our roads are unjustifiable, extortionate and op- 
pressive to the last degree — totally indefensible on any well 

183 



GOVERNOBS OP MINNESOTA. 

recognized principles of legitimate business, of commercial in- 
tegrity, or of public decency. 

Austin's next annual message, delivered January 4, 
1872, at the beginning of his second term, was pub- 
lished as a pamphlet and as the first paper, 41 pages, in 
the Executive Documents for 1871 (St. Paul, 1872). 
The following were his recommendations for the state 
geological survey, which was authorized by the legis- 
lature in that session, and for the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society and the State University. 

Considering the vast extent of our territory, its varied 
formations, soils, mineral deposits — undoubtedly existing in 
great wealth in some sections of the State — and the fact that 
we have never had a survey of the State worthy of the 
name, except at a few points of easy access, is it not desir- 
able that you should make provision for a thorough geological 
survey by a capable, efficient, practical geologist? Such a 
survey would probably have saved the State the six sections 
of land consumed at Belle Plaine in the vain search for salt, 
the value of which alone would defray the entire expense of 
the undertaking, and might have saved to the citizens inter- 
ested in that enterprise additional expense. A thorough geo- 
logical survey would most likely reveal sources of wealth un- 
known, and not even supposed to exist, and would probably 
definitely locate and uncover others, the existence of which is 
only surmised. * * * 



The Historical Society is steadily and successfully pur- 
suing its labors and during the past year has made gratifying 
progress, amply demonstrating its usefulness and value. Its 
library now contains nearly 5,000 bound volumes, most of 
them rare and valuable, while , its collection of a published 
nature concerning the state is remarkably complete and use- 
ful. The rooms provided for the society several years ago 
have already become too limited and should be enlarged as far 
as the needs of other departments will admit. I commend the 
society to your continued care and recommend liberal pro- 
visions for its future usefulness. 



The annual report of the Board of Regents, which will be 
laid before you, shows favorable progress at the University. 

184 



HOKACE AUSTIN. 

There have been in attendance, in all the departments, during 
the year past 321 students, of whom 92 were females. This in- 
crease in the number of students enhances the demand for 
more and better accommodations, and the board of regents 
therefore make an earnest appeal for an appropriation for the 
enlargement of the old building, which is but a wing of the 
original plan. There can be no doubt of the necessity of this, 
nor of the fact that the School must be embarrassed and 
greatly limited in its usefulness until more ample accommoda- 
tions are provided. No part of the funds arising from the sale 
of lands can be applied for the erection of buildings, which 
leaves the institution entirely dependent upon the legislature 
for a supply of its wants in this direction. 

The University, being the chief institution of learning in 
the State and standing at the head of our system of schools, 
should be made to reflect credit on the State and be enabled 
to take position with similar institutions of the country. It 
should receive such substantial aid as may be consistent with 
the means at your disposal and the demands of our charitable 
institutions. 

January 9, 1873, Governor Austin delivered his third 
annual message to the legislature, which was published in 
49 pages as a pamphlet and as the first paper of the 
Executive Documents for the year 1872 (St. Paul, 
1873.) Concerning development of local manufactures, 
this message said: 

After all shall have been done that can be done to cheapen 
the transportation of the bulky freights produced by an agri- 
cultural people, even though the expectation of the most san- 
guine should be realized, the profits upon such production will 
be small, the prosperity of the people limited and their lot a 
hard one, so long as fifteen hundred to five thousand miles lie 
between them and their markets. Minnesota Js essentially an 
agricultural State, but nature has not been so ungenerous in 
the distribution of her bounties as to limit us to the culture 
of the earth alone; on the contrary, she has endowed us with 
those elements which need but to be utilized by the ingenuity 
of man, and inspired by the magic touch of capital to make us 
the New England of the great Northwest — to build up a thou- 
sand active business centres where the busy artisan and the 
tradesman shall require not only the surplus production of the 
farmer, but where the wealth of our forests and of our mines 
shall be demanded, and where they shall be coined into gold, 
or become a commodity of ready exchange with the consumer, 
without the intervention of a score of middle-men — whose pro- 

185 



GOVERNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

fits exceed those of the producer and consumer combinedV-or 
subject to the inexorable extortions of confederated transpor- 
tation companies. To effect the desired result, I would sug- 
gest such a change in the constitution as will allow the Leg- 
islature to enact laws authorizing towns and cities to relieve 
from taxation capital which shall be invested in manufactur- 
ing, or perhaps authorize the loan or donation of a specific sum. 
However, these privileges, if granted, should be well 
guarded, that the flood-gates be not opened to an injudicious 
and unlimited indebtedness. I would restrict an exemption 
from taxation to a limited number of years, say fifteen, and, 
if more direct aid were to be extended, would permit it to be 
done by virtue of not less than a two -thirds vote, and would 
limit the amount to be loaned or donated, whether paid in 
cash or bonds, to a certain per cent of the valuation of the 
propertv in the city or other municipal corporation .granting 
the aid! * * * 

The fourth and last annual message of Governor 
Austin, January 9, 1874, published in a pamphlet of 
45 pages and in the Executive Documents for 1873 
(St. Paul, 1874), concludes as follows: 

If I have not been able to accomplish any great work of 
public improvement or material development, nor to enlarge 
the powers or the privileges of the masses, I have not stood in 
the way of the former nor retarded the progress of the lat- 
ter. The growth of the State in wealth, in public and internal 
improvements, in agriculture, in population, in the means of 
general education, and in the general prosperity and happiness 
of the people, has been too great to be questioned. 

To have been at the head of affairs, to have my name as- 
sociated with the events of these four prosperous if not event- 
ful years, I am profoundly thankful to the people of Minne- 
sota. And now, after ten years of public service, judicial and 
executive, worn with care and realizing the necessity of mak- 
ing for a dependent family better provision than the oppor- 
tunities of a public life permit, I willingly resign to another 
the honors and responsibilities of my situation, and the more 
willingly because they are to be transferred to a gentleman 
of eminent ability, who will guard the one and faithfully dis- 
charge the other. 

I bespeak for him your cordial co-operation, and earnestly 
do I invoke Heaven's most abundant blessings uj>on the people 
of Minnesota; and that her untarnished name may shine for- 
ever in the galaxy of American States with the lustre of that 
star which symbolizes her glory, is my earnest prayer. 

186 



HORACE AUSTIN. 

In the Publications of the Minnesota Commandery 
of the Loyal Legion of the United States, "Glimpses of 
the Nation's Struggle" (Fourth Series, 1898, pages 
124-143), is a paper by Governor Austin, "The Frontier 
of Southwestern Minnesota in 1857; the Ink-pa-doota 
Outbreak; the Campaign of 1863 against the Sioux," 
read December 12, 1893. This paper is partly auto- 
biographic, and also contains interesting character notes 
of Governor Gorman, Joseph E. Brown, Joseph Eolette, 
and other members of the last territorial legislature. 



187 












CUSHMAN K. DAVIS. 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS 

Seventh Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born in Henderson, New 
York, June 16, 1838, and died in St. 
Paul, November 27, 1900. He served 
in the Civil War; practiced law in St. 
Paul; and was Governor of Minnesota 
from January 7, 1874, to January 7, 
1876. From 1887 until his death he was 
a United States Senator. In 1898, at 
the conclusion of the war with Spain, 
he was a member of the Spanish Ameri- 
can Peace Commission. 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS 

SEVENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 
January 7, 1874, to January 7, 1876 



POLITICS and literature do not often go hand in 
in hand. We have had, however, in this state 
a rare exception. But seven years have passed since the 
death of Cushman Kellogg Davis. His recognition as 
statesman, classic orator, and man of letters, has gained 
in expression and cumulative interest with each passing 
year. The pervasive atmosphere of his memory is extend- 
ing through all the ranks of culture. In another genera- 
tion interest will center more and more about this man, 
so unlike our other governors. 

Literary talent, culture, a wonderful power of ex- 
pression, rich as cloth of gold, so potent in him, will 
reach with propulsive force to Minnesotans yet unborn. 
Amid his political entanglements, his legal work, dry as 
dust,- and statesmanly employments, his irrepressible lit- 
erary gifts would flash out like lances of sunlight be- 
tween the clouds. 

His accomplishments as a man of letters, and his 
wonderful skill in state-craft, are the two Corinthian 
columns on which rest his glory and his fame. 

191 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

No one can envy the great distinction which came to 
this remarkable man. He was too amiable and honorable 
to assail or decry any competitor in the race for suprem- 
acy. The rewards of a commendable ambition came to 
him without seeking to humble any rival. "His tongue 
dropped manna" for all, and wellnigh made him exempt 
from that vituperation which is too often the fate of 
our public men. In the earlier period of his professional 
career, there seemed to be a sportive tendency in his 
tastes; but quite suddenly he dropped all the haunts of 
diversion, and studiously gave himself to his library and 
his profession. Henceforth his life and career formed a 
notable part of the state he so devotedly loved and so 
greatly honored. 

He was born at the village of Henderson, Jefferson 
county, New York, on the 16th day of June, 1838, in 
a small home built partly of logs, and mossy and vener- 
able with age. He came of sturdy Puritan stock, and on 
his mother's side he was a descendant of Mary Allerton, 
who was the last survivor of the noble band that came 
over in the Mayflower. He was a descendant of Robert 
Cushman, the preacher of the Pilgrims, and he had great 
pride in his ancestry. His father, Horatio N. Davis, 
was quite prominent, had served in the Civil War,- and 
retired from the army with the brevet rank of major. 
He held many municipal offices, and was, at one time, a 
member of the Wisconsin Senate. When an infant, his 
parents removed to the vicinity of Waukesha, Wis., 
where, for fifteen years, they resided on a farm. He 

192 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

was trained in the local schools, but was early transferred 
to the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, from which 
he was graduated in 1857. He studied law, and came to 
the bar in Waukesha as soon as he had reached his ma- 
jority. With his intellectual gifts he speedily attained a 
good practice, and • was recognized as a rising and am- 
bitious young lawyer. 

But the storm of civil war broke upon the country, 
and he entered the army as first lieutenant of Company B 
of the Twenty-eighth Wisconsin infantry. He served with 
marked courage and fidelity until the complete break- 
ing down of his health from constant and insidious mal- 
aria and fever. For nearly two years he was with the 
Army of Tennessee in campaigns in Kentucky, Arkansas, 
and Mississippi. He returned to the paternal home, 
and with gradually returning health he was ambitious 
to seek a larger field of activity. Surveying the great 
Northwest, fortunately for both him and this state, he 
chose St. Paul as his future home. 

He arrived in that city in 1865. Eesuming at once 
the practice of the law, in partnership with ex-governor 
Willis A. Gorman, he became noted as one of the ablest 
and most prominent members of a bar eminently dis- 
tinguished for its rare ability and high character. 

In 1867 came his first political recognition, when 
he was elected to the legislature of that year. His 
ability was speedily recognized, and he took an active 
part in its deliberations. In 1868 he was appointed, by 

13 193 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

President Johnson, United States attorney for Minnesota, 
and served in that capacity till 1875. 

In the meantime he was devoting unwearied atten- 
tion to general literature. In response to the trend of 
public sentiment, then greatly agitated over alleged rail- 
way dominance and aggression, he prepared his celebrated 
lecture entitled "Modern Feudalism." He delivered this 
lecture at many places over the state, and it won for him 
a good deal of reputation. In fact, it was the means of 
directing public attention to him, and was probably the 
inciting cause of his being nominated for governor by 
the Republican party, July 16, 1873. 

The contest in the convention was between Davis 
and W. D. Washburn, of Minneapolis, a most worthy and 
able antagonist. After an exciting struggle, Davis was 
declared nominated by one majority. Upon so slender 
a thread does human destiny turn. This result changed 
many personal and political fortunes in our state. His 
opponents were Asa Barton, Democrat, of Faribault, 
and Samuel Mayall, Prohibitionist, of St. Paul. Davis 
received, in the election, 40,741 votes; Barton, 35,245; 
and Mayall, 1,036. Davis was the youngest of all our 
governors, being only in the thirty-sixth year of his age 
when he entered upon the duties of his office. 

January 9, 1875, he delivered his inaugural mes- 
sage to the legislature. The marked feature of that 
document was his vigorous arraignment of the railways 
of the state for extortionate rates, and suggesting reme- 
dies. Following these suggestions, a board of railway 
194 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

commissioners was established, and Davis subsequently 
appointed the first board. 

His last annual message was delivered January 7, 
1876. He had from time to time offered many valuable 
suggestions for the betterment of our laws, now incor- 
porated in our statutes, though the source of their in- 
spiration is forgotten. But the essential feature of his 
last message was his views upon the duty of the state as 
to the old state railroad bonds. The question of the 
moral and legal obligation of the state to adjust that in- 
debtedness was never, before or since, so succinctly and 
cogently presented. There will be found the whole es- 
sence of the argument against the state, never improved 
by any subsequent discussion of that vexed question. He 
clearly and boldly set forth, though it was unpopular at 
the time, the law and that higher rule of action which 
requires that states, no less than men, shall do justice, no 
matter how onerous may be the performance. With this 
sound admonition, he closed his career as governor of 
Minnesota. 

On the expiration of his term of office Governor 
Davis declined to be again a candidate. He alleged that 
he was a poor man, and his profession gave him an in- 
come greatly in excess of the governor's salary. But it 
was understood he was then nursing an ambition to go 
to the United States Senate, and in the second year of 
his term of office he threw his gauntlet into the senatorial 
arena. 



195 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The senatorial election came on in 1875. There 
were four candidates, to wit: Senator Ramsey, for a 
third term; W. D. Washburn; ex-Governor Austin; and 
Davis. Ignatius Donnelly came in later on. The strug- 
gle was long and bitter, and developed much personal 
feeling. The final result was the defeat of Senator Ram- 
sey and the election of Judge S. J. R. McMillan, of the 
Supreme Bench, a "dark horse" introduced to allay the 
feeling which had been engendered. Judge McMillan 
served two terms in the Senate. 

During these long twelve years, Governor Davis 
bided his time with calmness and patience. He was rec- 
ognized as a brilliant and coming man. While he de- 
voted himself to his profession and to the wide field of 
letters, he was prominent in all political campaigns, and 
spoke with marked ability for his party, for he was 
always a loyal Republican. During this period he lectur- 
ed on "Hamlet" and "Madame Roland," and also pub- 
lished his charming little book entitled "The Law in 
Shakespeare," which attracted much attention. 

The political campaign of 1886 was approaching, 
and the Republican press of the state was almost a unit 
for Davis for the Senate. The legislature met on the 
fourth; of January, 1887, and at the Republican caucus 
held to nominate a candidate for United States senator 
Cushman K. Davis received every vote but one. His 
destiny was now fixed, and he entered on the most bril- 
liant political career that was ever the fortune of any 
son of Minnesota. It remains to add that he was given 

196 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

his second term by a re-election in 1893, and a third 
term by nearly a unanimous vote, in 1899, when death 
cut short his great and valuable life, November 27, 
1900. 

He entered the Senate March 4, 1887, in the 
forty-ninth year of his age. There were assembled in 
that Chamber such senators as Hoar, Lodge, Aldrich, 
Allison, Spooner, and Morgan; and its Avails yet echoed 
with the voices of Webster, Clay, Benton, Calhoun, and 
Conkling. He came with respectful regard for the dig- 
nity and reputation of that high legislative body, which 
was equal to that any nation had yet established in the 
rank of statesmanship and forensic eloquence. 

When this young man entered the chamber that 
august body was not aware that Cicero had arrived. 
Whatever his aspirations or hopes, his innate modesty 
covered them all. He sought his honors through honest 
toil by the midnight lamp. While his friends at home 
looked confidently forward to a career of honor and fame 
for their chosen son, the Senate itself, of its own knowl- 
edge, had no occasion to be on the tiptoe of expectation. 
Indeed, he worked himself upward by the strictest de- 
votion to senatorial duty, as opportunity came. 

To him, at first, was accorded the chairmanship of 
the committee on pensions, comparatively a humble posi- 
tion, the duties of which he discharged with unwearied 
diligence and unruffled patience. The Senate soon 
learned that this new man was gifted with great intel- 
lectual force, and was a sound legislator. It was not 

197 



GOVEBNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

long till he was transferred to the committee on foreign 
relations, and here finally, as its chairman, he found a 
wide field for his great abilities and for the exercise of 
those qualities of statesmanship and diplomacy with 
which he was so well gifted and equipped. He was a 
profound student of the history of our diplomatic rela- 
tions with foreign countries, and as a preparation for 
this, he was already a master of constitutional and in- 
ternational law. His wealth of preparation for the 
headship of that committee soon gave him a record that 
caused the Senate to rely upon his reports and accept his 
advice. 

Following the War with Spain, he was nominated 
by President McKinley, in company with two of his 
senatorial colleagues and other distinguished persons, to 
negotiate a treaty of peace with that country. The posi- 
tion was one in which the highest skill and learning were 
necessary, and in that able body of American commis- 
sioners he was pre-eminently conspicuous for his learn- 
ing, his tact, and his fearless advocacy of the right. 
That treaty gave to the people of the Spanish islands 
relief from the most intolerable despotism, and added the 
Philippines and Porto Rico to the American Republic. 
The Treaty of Paris was the first occasion on which the 
United States was called upon to test its strength and 
wisdom in settling grave questions which really involved 
the great countries of Europe. Of all that work, Senator 
Davis was admitted to be the greatest part. His speeches 
and reports on the Spanish War in the Senate, and it 
198 



CUSHMAX KELLOGG DAVIS. 

is said more especially those in executive session, were 
masterful expositions of all matters involved, and were 
the propelling force which controlled the Senate. 

When President Harrison sought to acquire the 
Hawaiian Islands, that halfway station to Asia, Senator 
Davis was his devoted supporter. And later, when 
President McKinley was constrained for the broad pur- 
poses of public defense and welfare to secure their pos- 
session, it was Senator Davis, with abundant and cogent 
reasons, who chiefly devised the plan which resulted in 
their annexation. 

We recall the value of his services while serving on 
the committee of the Pacific railroad, in working out the 
mode and manner of settlement between the government 
and the roads, so that the people lost nothing by their 
generosity in originally aiding the growth and develop- 
ment of vast regions of our country. 

No soldier of the great Civil War should ever forget 
the debt of gratitude due him for his skill and persis- 
tency, while chairman of the committee on pensions, in 
framing and securing the Dependent Pension Act of 
1890. A veteran himself, he remembered his old com- 
rades. Through that act more than $750,000,000 has 
gone to the needy and infirm veterans and their widows, 
in token of the gratitude of a loyal people. 

During the Venezuelan contention, his ability and 
diplomatic skill enabled him to perform the most signal 
service as the head of the committee on foreign relations. 



199 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Thus, in all national affairs, he was wise, prudent, 
considerate, and far-seeing, even to prophecy, exhibiting 
all the elements of exalted statesmanship; never impul- 
sive, never erratic, but practical, and with broad views 
on all public and international questions. Many of his 
illustrious services in assisting and directing great poli- 
cies and events, which profoundly influenced the entire 
history of the country, were unknown to the general 
public because presented and considered in the com- 
mittee room and in executive sessions. As chairman 
of the committee on foreign relations, he had reached 
the field of the greatest opportunity for his abilities and 
service to his country. Here he won that supreme dis- 
tinction which placed him in the advanced line of Amer- 
ican statesmen. 

Absorbed as he was in the consideration of questions 
of almost worldwide importance, he did not overlook 
matters pertinent to the fortunes of his own state and 
the great Northwest. He fully realized that the people 
of Minnesota and the Dakotas could never secure the 
just rewards of their productive fields unless they were 
enabled to reach the markets of the world by the cheap- 
est and best possible route. Who that is well informed 
on matters of momentous public interest has not read 
that masterly exposition of traffic by waterways in which 
he directed the attention of the senate and the nation to 
the imperious necessity of the improvement of the canal 
and locks at the Sault Ste. Marie? He saw with the 
eye of a statesman that the swelling productions of the 

200 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

vast wheat belt, the granary of the world, must be moved 
to the sea on economic lines and arteries, or the golden 
wealth of the vast Northwest would largely be lost to 
the people. He educated congressional and public senti- 
ment by one great oration to the necessity of this im- 
provement, and it was accomplished. Every home in the 
Northwest will forever be more prosperous by reason of 
the far-sighted statesmanship of Senator Davis in secur- 
ing the enlargement and betterment of the Sault Sainte 
Marie canal. 

Among all our statesmen, he was the most vigorous 
and clear expounder of the reach and effect of the 
Monroe doctrine. The true relations of the United 
States to Europe and the world, and our guardianship 
of all American interests, were presented and interpreted 
by him in a manner commensurate with the magnitude 
of the subject. 

These examples will serve to illustrate the scope and 
character of his senatorial work. But now we must 
study the man himself, the qualities of his intellect, 
heart, and character. Sometimes the writer doubts 
whether the people of his own state, loving him as they 
did, fully appreciated the strength and vigor of his mind, 
the abundance of his intellectual resources, and the Gre- 
cian culture which polished and enriched them all. He 
was the first really great man Minnesota had presented to 
the Eepublic. His modesty was as great as his genius 
and his talents, and he lived a simple and unostentatious 
life in the midst of his friends. He was at all times and 

201 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

under all circumstances a true gentleman. It is quite 
impossible to define precisely that term, but we always 
feel what it means when in the presence of a man who is 
endowed with that special grace and courtesy. No man 
was ever more tolerant to his foes, and he never answered 
another's argument with warmth or heat. Yet, while 
he respected the opinion of other men, to the things for 
which he stood he was as true as steel. He always re- 
membered the dignity and honor of his senatorial office. 
No Boman senator ever bore himself with more dignity 
and decorum, for he was ever mindful that no civil tri- 
bunal on earth is clothed with more power and majesty 
than the Senate of this Kepublic. He always appreciated 
the honor of the great commission he bore from the peo- 
ple of his state, and never failed to perform for them a 
senator's full duty. 

His powers of conversation, to which it was always a 
delight to listen, were extolled and greatly admired by 
those who had the pleasure of his intimacy. His great 
and various knowledge and wide reading were always 
available to the uses of society. His choicest relaxation 
was in the polished company of men of literary tastes. 

His manners apparently were not so polished, yet in 
personal contact he was one of the most agreeable of men. 
His manners were democratic and thoroughly unconven- 
tional, and he was easily approached by the humblest 
citizen. Though clothed with an unaffected simplicity, 
his self-respect and innate dignity were unmistakable. 



202 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

His voice, unfortunately, was not of a quality which 
aided him as an orator, being sotto voce, with a tenor 
strain. He possessed a felicity of speech which was truly 
remarkable, and his language, in speaking or writing, was 
a model of excellence. 

Society had no charms for him. His place of re- 
creation and enjoyment was his library, where his books 
were his companions and his chosen friends. The wide 
range of his reading in history and general literature was 
simply extraordinary. He was the only one of our gov- 
ernors who could be correctly called a literary man. 
Sibley was the only other governor who had the inbred 
love of letters. 

Although Davis dropped his Greek, he retained as 
firm a hold on his Latin as any practiced collegian. 
Ovid and Livy, Horace and Virgil, were his relaxations. 
What do you think of a man who packs his valise for 
a journey with a copy of Sallust and a volume of Pliny's 
letters, for idle recreation? He had taught himself the 
important modern languages, French, Italian, and Ger- 
man, and he was not an inapt scholar in Spanish. None 
of these acquirements were made for parade or show; it 
was a love of learning for its own sake. 

There were special fields of literature in which he 
delighted to roam and pluck flowers for his own enjoy- 
ment. I believe every truly great man of learning and 
taste has studied and loved Shakespeare. The incom- 
parable dramatic poet was one of his chief loves. His 
little book, entitled "The Law of Shakespeare," was a 

203 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

royal testimonial of his Shakespearian learning. To il- 
lustrate the Senator's polished and elegant style, I will 
quote a passage from his introduction to this extraordi- 
nary volume: 

"There was everything in that romantic age to stir 
the imagination. There was a spirit of chivalry abroad 
which marched in quest of something more substantial 
than moldy relics and fulfilled vows Bworn to something 
grander than the achievement of pious absurdities. 
Erobisher had sailed northward into the silence of the 
eternal seas of ice. El Dorado lifted against the western 
skies its shafts and domes of gold. The Armada had 
vanished like a portentous phantom, smitten by the 
valor of Englishmen, and chased far off into the Hebri- 
dean fogs by the waves of the exasperated sea which 
fought for its island nurseling. Hawkins, pirate and 
admiral, had thrown his fortune into the pit which 
threatened to swallow up his country, and had died un- 
der the displeasure of his stingy yet magnificent queen. 
Raleigh, having seen his dream of the New World die out ? 
lay in the Tower writing his history, doubtless smoking 
the consoling weed while awaiting the end of so much 
bravery, so much rashness, and so many cares, in the 
summons of 'eloquent, just, and mighty Death/ 

"Drake had spoiled the seas and cities thereof. 
Captain John Smith had told of great empires in the 
West and their swarthy emperors. Mary, Queen of Scots, 
that changeful enchantress, as we see her now — at one 

204 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

time the French lily, all sweet, pure, and fragrant, and 
again the Scottish thistle, spinous and cruel to all who 
touched her— had woven the cords of love into the chains 
of empire, and had pressed the cup of her sorceries to 
the lips of many men, until her own glorious head bowed 
to 'the long divorce of steel/ " 

Thomas Babington Macaulay never wrote more su- 
perb lines than these. The shade of Shakespeare itself 
could bow to their stately rhythm. 

His study of international law was held by his sen- 
atorial associates to be thorough and masterly, and made 
him a recognized leader and guide on all complicated 
international questions. He was also profoundly versed 
in diplomatic precedents and history. His eminence 
in the legal profession was universally acknowledged 
by the bar, and it is no disparagement to many distin- 
guished legal cotemporaries to say that he was the lead- 
ing lawyer of the Northwest. As a lawyer he was not a 
•specialist in any sense, and his versatility was so great 
that there was no branch of the profession in which he 
was not at home. It was the judgment of Senator 
Spooner, of Wisconsin, himself one of the ablest of at- 
torneys, that his arguments addressed to the courts upon 
questions of law, and to juries upon questions of fact, 
could not be excelled by any one for strength, learning, 
and eloquence. 

With him reading was a passion. He invaded every 
department of literature. He could say with Gibbon, 



205 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

"My early and invincible love of reading I would not 
exchange for the treasures of India." As his memory 
was remarkably retentive, he became encyclopedic in uni- 
versal knowledge. Thus he was enabled to enrich and 
adorn his public addresses, his senatorial speeches, and 
even his private conversation, and that without effort 
or ostentation. 

In his earlier years, as is often the case with as- 
piring minds, he was undecided in his religious views, 
as to what was true in the Bible and the Christian reli- 
gion. But, with advancing years, profound study and 
more serious thought brought him to a safe conclusion. 
He was not devoted to any exclusive creed, but he 
realized that the spiritual life was the flower and pur- 
pose of creation. To use his own distinct utterance to 
his pastor, 1 not long before his final illness, he said: 

"It is a great deal better to have these things dis- 
cussed by the friends of the church rather than by her 
enemies, but it is not new — Voltaire had much to say 
on the subject. The heart of the question is not in 
any debate about the history of the books of the Bible. 
I am very familiar with the Bible. Job is the noblest 
poem ever written, and there is much of the loftiest 
eloquence in the Prophets. Nor is it in the literature 
of the Bible that the problem of faith rests. I know 
human history, and I know that in the first century 
something happened that destroyed the old world and 



^ev. Dr. Samuel G. Smith. 
206 



■CUSHMAX KELLOGG DAVIS. 

gave birth to the new. The resurrection of Jesus 
would account for that change, and I do not know of 
any other adequate solution that has ever been pro- 
posed." 

In this noble conviction Senator Davis departed to 
his immortal rest, believing that he who had Christ 
had all. 

Among the many striking incidents of his eventful 
career, we recall with pride his prompt action and ring- 
ing words, July 1, 1894, when that ill-timed resolution 
was introduced into the United States Senate to permit 
strikers to stop all railway traffic, provided they did not 
interfere with the United States mails. A committee 
from Duluth, assuming to speak for labor, wired Senator 
Davis, requesting him to support the resolution. The 
message came in the middle of the night, and springing 
from his couch, without dressing, he wrote the famous 
reply which was published in every newspaper in the 
land, and which did more to allay the fierce passions 
then aflame, and to set all men thinking, than any other 
cause ^ in that dark hour of national depression. The 
message was instinct with the courage of a patriot, and 
exhibited the farsightedness of a great statesman. Here 
is the message: 

"I have received your telegram. I will not support 
the resolution. It is against your real welfare. It is 
also a blow at the security, peace, and rights of millions 
who never harmed you or your associates. My duty to 
the Constitution and the laws forbids me to sustain a 

207 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

resolution to legalize lawlessness. The same duty rests 
upon you and your associates. The power to regulate 
commerce among the several states is vested by the Con- 
stitution in Congress. Your associates have usurped 
that power at Hammond and other places, and have des- 
troyed commerce between the states in these particular 
instances. You are rapidly approaching the overt act 
of levying war against the United States, and you will 
find the definition of that in the Constitution. I trust 
that wiser thoughts will again control. You might as 
well ask me to vote to dissolve the Government." 

It was probably from this very message that Presi- 
dent Cleveland conceived the idea of sending United 
States troops to Chicago to suppress the great labor riot, 
which was one of the noblest acts of his presidential 
career. 

We would do great injustice to Senator Davis' in- 
tellectual power, were we to omit calling special atten- 
tion to his orations and public addresses, delivered on 
many occasions of great moment, aiid on widely different 
subjects. When, on July 4, 1880, the Minnesota His- 
torical Society celebrated the two hundreth anniversary 
of the discovery of the Falls of St. Anthony by Louis 
Hennepin, Governor Davis was selected as the orator of 
that imposing occasion. The audience was immense, 
and many of the most distinguished men of the nation 
honored the day with their presence. The oration was 
all that could be hoped for with such a theme, and such 
a spot, and such a speaker. There are passages in it 

208 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

worthy of Cicero. Take this superb figure: "This 
cataract has been manacled by the hand of man, and 
works like the blind Samson in his mills." 

Another of his elaborate orations was delivered 
at the laying of the corner stone of the New Capitol 
in St. Paul, July 27, 1898. It was one of his 
best addresses, eminently worthy of the stately occa- 
sion, and was deservedly admired. The design of the 
oration was as exalted as the execution was masterly. 

On the 2d of July, 1897, Senator Davis delivered an 
address on the battlefield of Gettysburg, at the unveil- 
ing of the statue erected by our state in honor of the 
First Kegiment's gallant deeds on that historic site. 
Spoken upon a battlefield where blood flowed from the 
splendid valor of our own sons, yet toleration and moder- 
ation marked every sentiment of that grand utterance. 
It was a message of peace and good will to all the Ke- 
public. It is rich and fragrant with the generosity of 
the great heart of one who spoke as nobly as he fought. 
Listen to that patriotic voice of toleration and modera- 
tion that speaks to a reunited country louder than a 
bugle call: 

"And it was this transcendental fealty which so 
soon reunited us in one family by the combined efforts 
of men in whom hostility had been appeased, and closed 
that awful chasm which our evil-wishers abroad pre- 
dicted would always divide us by a fixed and impassa- 
ble gulf. The same earthquake force which opened that 
abyss closed it again, and we stand now, here and every- 
u * 209 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

where, upon solid ground — holy ground here, because 
it is a tomb where the hosts of valor and patriotism have 
'set up their everlasting rest/ It is also a field of resur- 
rection whence has arisen the Genius of a restored 
Union." 

But brilliant examples of his power as an orator 
abound through all his addresses. These will serve to 
guide the reader to the rich mine that will forever re- 
main as our stateV heritage, bequeathed to us by our 
greatest orator. It should be the loving task of some 
loyal son of Minnesota, to gather his speeches and ad- 
dresses in a volume, the better to . preserve them in a 
proper and durable form. Permit me to quote another 
passage from his Gettysburg oration, to further illus- 
trate his classic style and exquisite beauty of expression: 

"How lovingly Peace, enrobed in her imperial man- 
tle of golden harvests, reigns over this delicious land- 
scape. The refulgent armor of war now rusts beneath 
our feet. The cannon that we see here in position 
among the ranks which sleep in the invincible array 
of death are silent forever. Peace now holds an un- 
broken sway over our dear land. And yet thirty-four 
years ago today she fled affrighted from this scene. The 
fiery chariots of War were reaping here the fields and 
were gathering a harvest of men into that tabernacle 
of never-ending rest, wherein all grains and fruits and 
flowers and men and all living things must be garnered 
at last," 



210 



GUSH MAX KELLOGG DAVIS. 

It would be an unpardonable fault, in citing these 
examples of his style, to omit a quotation from the ad- 
dress he delivered at the "Seventeenth Meeting of the 
Society of the Army of the Tennessee," at Lake Mnne- 
tonka, August 13, 1884. General Grant had written 
Governor Davis a personal letter, asking him to deliver 
the regular address on that occasion. Grant, Sherman, 
Sheridan, and other illustrious men were present. At- 
tention is called to that splendid burst of eloquence 
wherein he summons the phantom armies of Napoleon 
and their imperial marshals in the "fields of air." I 
challenge the whole range of oratory, modern and an- 
cient as well, to rival this superb utterance. 

"* * * It was a sublime conception of the Aus- 
trian poet Zedlitz, that before the statue of the great 
Xapoleon in the Place Vendome the hosts of the Em- 
pire muster for review. While Paris sleeps, the dis- 
embodied cohorts of the dead conqueror break the marble 
calm of death and are marshalled upon the fields of 
air. The armies of twenty years stand embattled on 
that aerial plain. They come from the slime of the 
Nile, from the sands of Arabia, from the snows of Eus- 
sia, from Alpine ice, from German plains, from the 
fields of Italy, from Spanish sierras, from the waves 
of Trafalgar. The imperial marshals are there: Murat, 
with his squadrons; Davout, with the victors of Auer- 
stadt; Massena, with the famine-stricken defenders of 
Genoa; Macdonald, sword in hand, and on foot, at the 
head of the eighteen thousand immortals who broke the 

211 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Austrian center at Wagram; slaughtered Ney, with the 
apparition of the despairing Guard, which broke in vain 
in bloody surges upon the English squares at Waterloo. 
The * spectres' of auxiliary kings, their brows gold- 
bound with phantom crowns bestowed by him, career 
before their shadowy legions, and far off upon the con- 
fines of the night the phantasma of vanquished armies 
in full retreat is dimly seen upon a hundred fields. 
Martial music is faintly heard beneath the stars, and 
upon the spirit banners of the pallid and evanescent host 
as it sweeps in dark review before the bronze em- 
power, who has also taken a ghostly life, gleam the words 
'Ave Imperator! Morituri te salutant/ and then the 
armies of a lost cause melt into the air and the em- 
peror becomes bronze again. 

"So # now and in all time will the hosts of this army 
defile before the Genius of History. They rise, arms 
in hand, from the ancient river-beds, from the bivouac 
of the grave, from Vicksburg and Kenesaw, from every 
historic battlefield, from deadly forests and noisome 
prison pens. The living and the dead are there, the 
white man and his dusky comrade. The great generals 
are in their places. The paeans of victorious music 
are heard again. ■ The starry flag gleams among the con- 
stellations. This pageant fades from the Elysian fields, 
and History, taking up her pen, writes of that 
army the imperishable words, 'Its cause was not lost, 
for it was the cause of Liberty, my best beloved child. 



212 



CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS. 

It fought the great battle of humanity and conquered, 
and is consecrated to the reverence of mankind/" 

In his addresses and orations there was never any 
attempt to be theatrical or dramatic. There was no 
fervid declamation ; there was no violent action, as is said 
of Demosthenes and Eoscius. In fact, the manner of his 
delivery did not seem much to concern him. He was 
calm, dignified, and wholly unimpassioned. He seemed 
to rely upon the substance and merit of his discourse for 
his impression upon his auditors. His great intellectual 
gifts governed his oratory. In his written orations, 
by the midnight lamp he carefully prepared each sen- 
tence, and was scrupulous in the selection of his words. 
His diction was copious, indeed a model of every ele-» 
gance. Like Fox, he possessed no grace of action, and 
had a voice of little compass. But all this was forgotten 
when he got into his topic, and held you by his in- 
tellectual power. He never addressed himself to the 
reporters, but directly to the people before him. His 
pronunciation of our language was clear and beautiful, 
and his use of it always pure and chaste. 

Nothing so refreshed his mind, except his books, 
as intercourse with those friends in whose companion- 
ship and converse he delighted. 

Death found him at the zenith of his powers, and 
in control of the really great committee of the Senate. 
There was before him a field worthy of his splendid 
abilities, and hence the pathos and regret of his unex- 



213 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

peeted demise. It is to be regretted that he wrote so 
little of a permanent character. With his sentiment 
and imagination, and his remarkable facility at elegant 
composition, combined with his great learning, he 
could have achieved permanent fame in any walk of lit- 
erature he might have chosen. 

If we were to consider his private life, he woulcf 
appear sometimes to violate the correct principles of 
social order. To reconcile private infirmities with 
great public virtue is a difficult task. It is indeed a 
puzzling question in a biography of this sort, how far 
to apply the ethical laws of society to a public man. 
Webster was a deep drinker at times, and Clay was 
given to gaming; yet it was never alleged that either of 
them neglected a public duty by reason of personal in- 
firmity. It is, however, a dangerous example, of evil 
tendency, to let the private faults of great statesmen 
pass uneensured. It was said of Pericles that he could 
deliver the most brilliant address, and then away to 
sup with Aspasia. But nearly twenty centuries ago 
society was reconstructed on a different basis. Mankind 
are ever indulgent toward the errors of great man. The 
only marked blemish on Senator Davis 7 reputation 
was a want of proper appreciation of the true character 
of women, who in their exalted purity are the conser- 
vators of society. 

Senator Davis was twice married. His first wife 
was a Mrs. Laura Bowman, of Wisconsin, from whom 
he procured a legal separation. He was subsequently 

214 



C U S H M A X K E L L G G D A V I S. 

married to Anna Malcom Agnew (maiden name), the 
divorced wife of Charles Fox, of St. Paul. This mar- 
riage occurred in 1888. Neither wife bore him children. 

He died at eight o'clock, November 27, 1900, 
at his home, 130 Farrington avenue, at sixty-two years of 
age. He had suffered for two months from senile gan- 
grene, which later became complicated with acute inflam- 
mation of the kidneys. There were present at his death- 
bed his venerable father, ninety years of age (his mother, 
eighty-six, was in the adjoining room) ; his wife; 
his sister, Mrs. Bartlett Tripp; his regular physician, 
Dr. A. J. Stone; two consulting physicians; his legal 
partner, C. A. Severance; and the nurses. 

His remains lay in state in the Governor's Boom 
at the Capitol, where they were visited by an immense 
and constant procession of citzens. On the day of the 
funeral all public business was suspended. Messages of 
sympathy, from the President of the United States, from 
cabinet officers, senators, and foreign ministers, poured 
in upon the family. The press of the entire nation paid 
tribute to his memory. Indeed, the whole people mour- 
ned. 

The funeral took place Saturday, December 1, 
1900. Half-masted flags told mutely but eloquently of 
the national bereavement. The surging throngs which 
occupied the streets attested the respect and considera- 
tion in which he was held by his immediate fellow-citi- 
zens. The services were conducted by Dr. C. D. 
Andrews, of Christ Episcopal church. United States 

215 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

senators, congressmen, the governor and his staff, the 
Loyal Legion, the city officers, Grand Army posts, and 
a long procession of carriages, followed the remains of 
Minnesota's greatest statesman, whose casket, covered 
with a profusion of flowers, was laid away in the mortu- 
ary chapel at Oakland Cemetery, December- 3d. 

His body rested in the chapel at Oakland till 
his widow saw fit to cause its removal to Arlington 
Cemetery, Washington, D. C, October 23, 1901. The 
monument in Arlington Cemetery, erected by his widow, 
is quite an imposing structure, fifteen feet high, of 
brown Italian granite. It is surmounted by a very good 
marble bust of the senator. At the base is a raised 
carving on the stone, with a table at which the senator 
is sitting, represented as signing the Treaty of Paris. 
The inscription on the monument is as follows: 

SENATOR 
CUSHMAN KELLOGG DAVIS 

SOLDIER, 

SCHOLAR, 

STATESMAN. 

June 16, 1838— Nov. 27, 1900. 

It is impossible to close this record of Senator 
Davis' history without expressing profound regret that 
his widow removed his remains to Arlington Cemetery, 
near Washington city. This act greatly disturbed the 
tender feelings of the people of Minnesota. Here he 
had lived his life, fought his battles, and won his high 

216 



C U S H M A 3ST KELLOGG DAVIS. 

honors. The very threads of his existence were inter- 
woven with Minnesota, and his body should be inurned 
in its soil. I freely express the hope that the day will 
yet came when his remains will be returned to sleep in 
the bosom of the state he so dearly loved and faith- 
fully served; and that an admiring and remembering 
people will rear to him a monument worthy of his 
name and fame. 



Governor Davis presented four published messages 
to the state legislature, as follows: 

Inaugural Message, delivered January 9, 1874, pub- 
lished as a pamphlet of thirty pages and also in the 
Executive Documents of Minnesota for the year 1873 
(St. Paul, 1874). 

Annual Message, January 8, 1875, thirty-two page**, 
as a pamphlet and in the Executive Documents for 
1874 (St. Paul, 1875). 

Special Message, January 29, 1875, transmitting the 
Eeport of Hon. H. H. Sibley, chairman of the com- 
mittee appointed by the Governor, to distribute the re- 
lief afforded to the people of the frontier counties, suf- 
fering from the ravages of grasshoppers; a pamphlet 
of ten pages, ordered printed by the Senate. 

Annual Message, January 7, 1876, a pamphlet of 
forty-two pages, also published as the first paper in the 
Executive Documents for 1875 (St. Paul, 1876). The 
last six pages are devoted to the state railroad bonds, 
for which the governor earnestly urged due considera- 

217 



GOVEKNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

tion and a just settlement. He introduced this part of 
the message as follows: 

I should feel self reproach from the consciousness of having 
left an important duty unperformed, should I suffer this oc- 
casion to pass without expressing my views upon a subject 
which has been a topic of reproach by our creditors, and re- 
crimination, excuse and defence by many of our citizens for 
more than fifteen years. I allude to the obligations, moral 
and legal, to which the state is subject by the evidences of its 
indebtedness commonly known as the Minnesota state railroad 
bonds. 

They were executed so long ago that, of our present popu- 
lation, over four hundred thousand have become inhabitants 
since the date of these securities; so many popular ideas upon 
the question have been the creation of hasty, angry or in- 
sufficient assertion, that it does not seem improper to present 
here a concise historical statement showing precisely what was 
done by the state in the premises. I give it in the hope that 
it may be influential in clearing away some of the distorting 
and erroneous assumptions of fact which have obscured the 
subject, and, as I think, darkened the conscience of this people, 

After relating very clearly the history of these 

bonds and of the state enactments concerning thern, 

Davis closed his final message as governor with the 

following argument and farewell: 

* 

It is asserted by some persons who have embittered our 
people by the infliction of unqualified censure upon them, that 
we have planted ourselves upon an explicit denial that there 
is anything due upon these securities. Such is not the senti- 
ment of our people. But many of them do think that the 
transaction is affected by circumstances which ought to abate 
materially f^om the obligation to pay these securities at their 
face in the case of those who hold the bonds with notice" of 
the facts. This is a defence that any debtor has the right to 
make. But in making it he ought not to bar every avenue 
to adjudication, and make his defence as to part a pretence 
for not paying anything. As to the portion which we do 
wrongfully refuse to pay, the world will hold that we repudi- 
ate as long as we deny jurisdiction to any tribunal to en- 
tertain the question involved. I suppose that when the claims 
of this government against Great Britain were first advanced 
on account of the damages done by Confederate cruisers, the 
English people were as firmly persuaded that they owed noth- 
ing, and were as firmly resolved to pay nothing, as any of our 

218 



CUSHMAX KELLO G G D A V I S. 

people today are. But no ' man and no nation ought to be 
the judge in its own cause, and accordingly these great govern- 
ments constituted a court at Geneva, submitted to its juris- 
diction and abided by the judgment of that unimpassioned 
forum. It is an example worthy of our imitation. If a board 
of commissioners composed of men of or not of this state, 
eminent for integrity and judicial wisdom, could be invested 
with jurisdiction to hear and determine the questions involved 
by a consideration of every equity, legal or moral, existing 
on either side of the controversy, it cannot be presumed that 
our people would hesitate to perform the aw r ard. If these 
bonds were void in their inception for any reason, or if they 
were procured by fraudulent representations or unfaithful per- 
formance of conditions precedent, or if there is a class of un- 
fortunate persons who invested in good faith, for value, with- 
out notice, so that the last named defence is not applicable to 
them, or if they are wholly due, let us meet each responsibility 
as becomes a great state, holding its honor dearer than any- 
thing else. 

I am aware that an over-prudent calculating judgment 
might not prompt a public man to whom the immediate com- 
mendations of those who have honored him are very gratify- 
ing, to speak such w r ords. But I know that there is a higher 
rule of action which requires that states no less than men shall 
do justice, no matter how onerous may be the performance. 
This rule bears upon our people now. It contains forces of 
self-assertion against which no opposition not founded in right 
can stand with any permanency. We have disregarded it too 
long. 

Having now performed this final official act, I close my 
connection w T ith the high position with which the people have 
honored me, with the expression of an earnest wish for the 
prosperity of the state, and that the eminent citizen who has 
been chosen as my successor may receive your most efficient 
aid in making his administration beneficial to the people and 
honorable to him. 

Other published writings and addresses of Governor 
Davis, in their chronologic order, are: 

The Eailroad Question, an address at Kochester, 
Minn., October 9, 1873 ; a newspaper report, pasted to 
form a pamphlet of 11 pages, in the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society Library. 

The Permanency of our Institutions, an oration at 
the Centennial Celebration at St. Paul, July 4, 1876; 

219 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

published in "Our National Centennial Jubilee/' edited 
by Frederick Saunders, New York, 1877, pages 837-848. 

Closing Argument for the Eespondent in the matter 
of the Impeachment of Sherman Page, Judge of the 
Tenth Judicial District, Minnesota; pamphlet of 113 
pages, St. Paul, 1878. This argument, delivered on 
June 25 and 26, 1878, before the State Senate in its 
session for the impeachment trial, is also published, the 
same as by the pamphlet (which is a reprint, with new 
page numbering), in the "Impeachment of Sherman 
Page" (three volumes), Journal of the Senate, twentieth 
session, 1878, as pages 146-255 of its Volume III. 

Eulogy on the Life of Governor Gorman, at a 
meeting of the Ramsey County Bar Association, May 24, 
1876; in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 
Volume III, 1880, pages 328-332. 

Oration, July 3, 1880, in Minneapolis, at the Cele- 
bration by the Minnesota Historical Society of the Two 
Hundredth Anniversary of the Discovery of the Falls of 
Saint Anthony in 1680, by Father Louis Hennepin 
(M. H. S. Collections, Volume VI, 1894, pages 39-55). 

Hamlet; Madame Poland; Lectures. 102 pages; 
St. Paul, 1882. 

The Law in Shakespeare, 303 pages; St. Paul, 
1883, and second edition, 1884. 

Oration of Comrade C. K. Davis, Ex-Governor of 
Minnesota, delivered at the Fifteenth Annual Observ- 
ance of "Memorial Day," in St. Paul, May 30th, 1884; 
a pamphlet of seven pages, published by Acker Post 

220 



CUSHMAN" KELLOGG DAVIS. 

No. 21, Department of Minnesota, G. A. E., reprinted 
from a newspaper. 

Address at the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the 
Society of the Army of the Tennessee, held at Lake 
Minnetonka, Minn., August 13, 1884; in the Report of 
the Proceedings of the Society, 1884-87, published in 
Cincinnati, 1893, pages 69-84. 

Address at the opening of the Minneapolis Expo- 
sition, August 23, 1886; pamphlet of 18 pages. 

Admission of South Dakota, Speech in the Senate 
of the United States, April 11, 1888. 30 pages; Wash- 
ington, 1888. 

Address, September 14, 1889, in Minneapolis, on the 
251st Anniversary of the First Swedish Settlements in 
America; pamphlet of 13 pages. 

The Claims of the Northwest for the Improvement 
of St. Mary's Eiver and Hay Lake Channel, Speech in 
the Senate of the United States, January 9, 1890. 16 
pages; Washington, 1890. 

Against the United States Subsidizing the Maritime 
Canal Company of Nicaragua in the Sum of One Hun- 
dred Millions of Dollars, Speech in the U. S. Senate, 
February 20, 1891. 16 pages; Washington, 1891. 

Eelations with Hawaii, Speech in the U. S. Senate, 
January 10-11, 1894. 48 pages; Washington, 1894. 

Speech in the Senate of the United States, July 10, 
1894, in Eeply to Senator Peffer and to Senator Kyle's 
Eesolution [relating to the great railroad strike]. 16 
pages; Washington, 1894. 

221 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

Progress of the United States during the Half Cen- 
tury, an address in the Celebration of the Fiftieth An- 
niversary of the Organization of the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society, in the Capitol, St. Paul, November 15, 
1895; M. H. S. Collections, Volume IX, 1901, pages 
617-622. 

The Monroe Doctrine, Speech in the U. S. Sen- 
ate, February 17, 1896. 14 pages; Washington, 1896. 

An address to the Citizens of Saint Paul, August 
4, 1896 [relating chiefly to national coinage questions] ; 
a pamphlet of 15 pages, reprinted from a newspaper. 

An address at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, 1897, at the 
Unveiling of the Statue erected by the State of Min- 
nesota to commemorate the Charge made by the First 
Eegiment of Minnesota Infantry Volunteers on the 
second day of July, 1863; a pamphlet of ten pages. 

Lectures on International Law before the Faculty 
and Students of the University of Minnesota, October, 
1897; pamphlet of 80 pages, St. Paul. 

An address at St. Paul, July 27, 1898, at the Lay- 
ing of the Corner Stone of the Capitol of Minnesota; 
a pamphlet of 23 pages, and also a part (pages 15-28) 
in Proceedings at the Laying of the Corner Stone, etc. 
(St. Paul, 1898). 

Speech at Minneapolis, September 7, 1898 [relat- 
ing to party issues in the state political campaign] ; a 
pamphlet of 16 pages. 



222 



CUSHMAX KELLOGG DAVIS. 

The Treaty of Paris, Speech before the L T nion 
League Club of Chicago, February 22, 1899; pamphlet, 
14 pages. 

Speech before the Alumni of the University of 
Pennsylvania, June 12, 1900; in The Alumni Eegister, 
July, 1900. 

A Treatise on International Law, including Ameri- 
can Diplomacy, with Introduction by Hon. Henry Cabot 
Lodge; annotated and revised by Peter J. Healey. 368 
pages; St. Paul, 1901. 



223 




JOHN S. PILLSBURY. 



JOHN SARGENT PILLSBURY 

Eighth Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born in Sutton, N. H., July 
29, 1827, and died in Minneapolis, Minn., 
October 18, 1901. He was a Territorial 
Pioneer of Minnesota; became one of 
the foremost business men, in lumber- 
ing and flour-milling, in the world; and 
was preeminent for his service to the 
State University. He was Governor of 
Minnesota from January 7, 1876, to 
January 10, 1882. 



15 



JOHN SARGENT PILLSBURY 

EIGHTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 7, 1876, to January 10, 1882 



THE Pillsbury tribe for more than one hundred 
years has been considered a virile race in New 
Hampshire. They were of Puritan stock. William 
Pillsbury is the name which first appears in this coun- 
try, coming to Boston, Mass., from England in 1640 or 
1641. Micajah Pillsbury, who had served in the Revolu- 
tionary War, removed from Amesbury, Mass., to Sutton, 
1ST. H., in 1795. Three of his sons were representatives 
of that town in the state legislature. The youngest of 
these, John Pillsbury, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, was a manufacturer, a mechanic, and subsequently 
a farmer, a man quite prominent in local and state poli- 
tics. He lived till 1856, and left behind him a good 
reputation for practical ability and manly honor. His 
wife was Susan Wadleigh, and to this union there came 
five children, four sons and one daughter. John Sar- 
gent Pillsbury was the third son, and was born in Sutton, 
Merrimack county, N". H., July 29, 1827. 

He received but a New England common school edu- 
cation. His college was the great world, its stirring 
scenes, events, men, and business. As a youth, he began 

227 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

his practical education by learning the painter's trade. 
But a taste for commercial life and business dominated 
his purposes, and at as early an age as sixteen he entered 
on a mercantile career. He was first a clerk for his 
brother, George A. Pillsbury, at Warner, N. H. ? in a 
general country store, where he remained until he be- 
came of age. . At that time he entered into co-partner- 
ship with Walter Harriman, at Warner, which continued 
for two years. This business associate afterward became 
governor of New Hampshire. Young Pillsbury then re- 
moved to Concord, N. H., where he engaged in the busi- 
ness of merchant tailoring, and here he remained four 
years. 

His experience as an apprentice, a clerk in a coun- 
try store, a partner in larger business operations, grad- 
ually developed that business sagacity which was the 
marked characteristic of his life. But in 1853 he lis- 
tened to the voice of Horace Greeley which said "Go 
West, young man," and he made an extended tour of 
observation into the great Northwest, seeking a more 
desirable arena for his ambitious nature. Finally, in 
June, 1855, he visited Minnesota, saw the Falls of St. 
Anthony, and in his vision beheld the future possibili- 
ties of that wonderful spot, and there found home and 
destiny for the rest of his life. 

He engaged in the hardware business on a contin- 
ually enlarging scale, with George P. Cross and Wood- 
bury Pisk, the latter being a brother of his wife. This 
firm continued to prosper until the panic of 1857 came, 
228 



JOHN SABGEKT PILLSBUEY. 

and with it a loss of nearly $38,000 by fire without in- 
surance. The combined blow would have completely 
paralyzed an ordinary man, but it only nerved him to 
greater activity and strengthened his courage. Pillsbury 
was always at his best in trying ordeals. With his in- 
domitable will and indefatigable energy, within five years 
he had met every obligation and greatly enlarged his 
business. He possessed two assets which always carried 
the day with his creditors, energy and scrupulous hon- 
esty. His business yearly increased in magnitude and 
became very lucrative. 

He continued in the hardware business until 1875, 
when he withdrew from that specialty to engage in other 
and larger enterprises. He had already entered into the 
milling business in 1873. He had associated with him 
his nephew, Charles A. Pillsbury, a young man of ability 
and energy who was destined to be a marked figure in 
the business circles of Minneapolis. Later on this firm 
included his brother, George A. Pillsbury, and another 
nephew, Fred C. Pillsbury. This firm became noted 
throughout the whole country, and their fame extended 
to Europe. They erected several large flouring mills 
with the very latest improvements, and first introduced 
the roller process in the Northwest. One of the mills 
was mentioned at that period as the largest in the world, 
with a daily capacity of 7,000 barrels. In 1890 this gi- 
gantic business, now swollen beyond all precedent, was 
sold to an English syndicate, though John S. Pillsbury 
and his nephews were given the management of these 

229 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

mills at Minneapolis, they retaining a large interest in 
the stock. 

During the development of this great industry, Mr. 
Pillsbury was called by his fellow citizens to several pub- 
lic duties. In 1858 he was elected a member of the city 
council of St. Anthony, a position he held for many 
years. In 1863 he was elected a state senator from Hen- 
nepin county, and was re-elected for the five following 
terms. He must have proved a very efficient member 
to be so repeatedly honored. 

When the Civil War broke out, he did royal service 
in aiding in the formation of several regiments, and at 
the outbreak of Indian hostilities, in 1862, he raised and 
equipped a mounted company for that service. This set 
the seal of patriotism on his character as a citizen. 

Fortunately for the state and the State University, 
in 1863 Mr. Pillsbury was appointed one of its regents, 
and he at once began to examine into its condition. In 
1851 Congress had granted 46,000 acres of land in the 
then territory of Minnesota to aid in the establishment 
of a university. To secure the erection of necessary 
buildings, this land had been mortgaged for $40,000, 
and when the main building was completed, in 1857, a 
mortgage of $15,000 was placed upon it. The financial 
crash which came in 185 7 found the university over- 
whelmed with debt, and the trustees were in despair. No 
more money could be raised, and the legislature at that 
period was unable to come to its assistance. 



230 



JOHN SAEGEXT PILLSBURY. 

In 1862 the legislature authorized the regents to 
"convey any and all of the lands" of the state university 
to pay its enormous debts, and to let its creditors take 
all its assets. But Mr. Pillsbury resolved differently. 
He lived near by the University. He made its desperate 
situation a personal matter. Without a collegiate or even 
academic education, he resolved that the youth of his 
adopted state should have opportunities which had been 
denied to him. He studied every detail of the situation. . 
He gave to its affairs the same study and care as to his 
own private business. A new Board of Regents at his 
instance was organized by the legislature, March 4, 1864, 
to conduct all its business affairs. This act gave full 
power to the new board. This was the turning point in 
the fate of the university. Mr. Pillsbury now put forth 
a supreme personal effort. He visited all the creditors, 
traveled far and wide, and, in the end, fully discharged 
all debts, liens, and judgments against the university, 
and saved some thirty thousand acres of the land grant, 
and secured, free from all incumbrances, the present site 
of the university, its Wildings, and its splendid campus. 
From that time on the university has prospered, march- 
ing forward till it ranks with the greatest and best of 
the collegiate institutions of the land. He was its friend 
and savior; through all succeeding years, so long as he 
lived, he was its powerful protector and promoter; and 
when he died, it seemed as though the university had 
gone into a state of orphanage. 



231 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Mr. Pillsbury, as were all his tribe, was a strict 
Republican in politics. Wonderful success had come to 
him in all his business affairs. Not only his milling but 
his lumber business had increased many fold. His splen- 
did management of the affairs of the state university 
had been the admiration of the state. His comprehen- 
sive views and practical sagacity during his long service 
in the state senate brought and kept him before the 
public. Thus it seemed very naturally to happen that, 
in 1875, he was, apparently without effort on his part, 
nominated for governor of the state. He was elected to 
that position by nearly twelve thousand majority over his 
principal competitor, the Hon. D. L. Buell, the latter 
receiving 32,275 votes. R. F. Humiston received 1,669 
votes for governor. Pillsbury's total vote was 47,073. 

It seemed that the time was opportune for the state 
to have a business governor. The people of the state 
were oppressed with local debts; they were scourged 
with grasshoppers; agriculture was depressed; mortgages 
covered the land; the old Five Million Loan indebted- 
ness hung like a pall over the commonwealth. It does 
not often happen that lawyers and politicians are prac- 
tical business men. At this epoch the affairs of the 
state were generally in a bad situation. What was want- 
ing was a strong, vigorous, practical and sagacious busi- 
ness governor. With John S. Pillsbury, the hour and 
the man had come. His business career justified popular 
expectation, and inspired the people with hope. 



232 



JOHN SABGENT PILLSBURY. 

His inaugural address met the approbation of all 
classes. It evinced a clear apprehension of .the needs of 
the people. The more direct control of railways was 
one of the exciting questions of the hour. Governor 
Pillsbury took firm ground 'for governmental control of 
these highways, and this position was subsequently af- 
firmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. He 
took strong ground for legislative economy, and resol- 
utely vetoed reckless extravagance made in defiance of 
the condition of the public finances. 

But perhaps the most remarkable feature of his 
first message was that wherein he pleaded for the honor 
of the state, with force and earnestness, for the proper 
and speedy adjustment of the long standing and oft re- 
pudiated old railroad bonds. It was not a popular 
measure. The people had rejected several propositions 
for the settlement of these old obligations, and ordinary 
politicians did not dare to touch the vexed question. 
But John S. Pillsbury was not an ordinary man. 
Nerve was a family trait. The legislature to which this 
first earnest appeal was made was not yet ready to give 
it effect. But the governor was persistent in his ef- 
forts to wipe this stain from the escutcheon of the 
state. Year by year, and message by message, he re- 
turned to the attack, till finally, by an act dated March 
3, 1881, his efforts were crowned with victory, and he 
had the pleasure of signing the bill which all now ac- 
knowledge to have been " one of obvious public justice, 



233 



GOVERN OKS OF MINNESOTA 

and one with which his name will always be distinctly 
identified. 

It was during his administration that the great 
scourge of grasshoppers visited our frontier, and with in- 
satiable appetite devoured every green thing. It is quite 
impossible for the reader of today to realize the destruc- 
tion which came from these pests. For three succes- 
sive years they renewed their ravages and desolated en- 
tire counties. The governor sought to devise some prac- 
tical plan for public relief. He opened correspondence 
with scientific men, and issued invitations to the govern- 
ors of such states and territories as had suffered most. 
He secured a meeting of these dignitaries at Omaha, in 
October, 1877. He was chosen chairman of the assem- 
blage. They memorialized Congress for aid in a thor- 
ough Scientific investigation with a view to protection. 
They elicited a large fund of information, and general 
instructions were disseminated through the scourged dis- 
tricts in accordance with the knowledge obtained. 

The winter of 1876-77 witnessed the most extreme 
suffering in the counties of southwestern Minnesota, the 
result of this scourge, that any portion of our people 
have ever endured. Not satisfied with the information 
gleaned from his agents, the noble-hearted governor re- 
solved to go in person and see for himself. For the 
purposes of more accurate information, he went incog- 
nito. In the middle of December, in zero weather, over 
the bleak prairies the brave governor prosecuted his 
search, and discovered hundreds on the verge of starva- 

234 



JOHN SAEGENT PILLSBUEY. 

tion; and the people of the more prosperous portions of 
the state believed his reports, and organized aid poured 
in upon the sufferers. 

His message to the legislature of 1877 is known as 
the "grasshopper message," and is filled with practical 
recommendations for the counteracting of the scourge 
and the relief of its victims. With returning spring 
came returning apprehensions of a renewal of the fear- 
ful scourge. Many religious bodies expressed a wish for 
a day of fasting and prayer, and with the inspiration of 
his Puritan blood and strong religious convictions, the 
governor issued his celebrated proclamation asking the 
merciful Father for his sovereign interposition in be- 
half of an afflicted people. This executive utterance at- 
tracted wide attention and discussion. The recommenda- 
tion was generally heeded over all the state. As the 
season progressed, it was found that the insects had dis- 
appeared, and thousands of good people firmly believed 
that the hand of a special Providence had not been in- 
voked in vain. 

The Eepublican convention of 1877 renomiDated 
Governor Pillsbury by acclamation, and he was re-elected 
for his second term by an increased majority of eighteen 
thousand over his opponent, the Hon. William L. Ban- 
ning, of St. Paul. The vote stood as follows: J. S. 
Pillsbury, 57,071; W. L. Banning, 39,147; and William 
Meigher, 2,396. This second inauguration was marked 
by unusual public demonstrations and took place in the 
opera house in St. Paul. His message was marked by 

235 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

many practical recommendations, among which may be 
mentioned the establishment of a high school board; 
the creation of the office of public examiner; further pro- 
vision for the care of the insane; the construction of 
another state prison; additional aid to the impoverished 
victims of the grasshopper scourge; a renewed recom- 
mendation for biennial sessions of the legislature by con- 
stitutional amendment; and again, for the third time, he 
urged the speedy adjustment of the old railroad bonds. 
The wisdom of all these suggestions was well appre- 
ciated, and all of them were duly enacted into law. 

In 1879 political excitement was once more renewed. 
Who should be governor, was the question pressed upon 
the general public. Governor Pillsbury had not yet 
secured by legislative enactment all his practical sug- 
gestions, and especially the old railroad bond question 
was yet unsettled. The feeling was strongly in favor of 
giving the governor a third term to enable him to com- 
plete his good work. The nomination was therefore 
pressed upon him, and he reluctantly accepted this ex- 
traordinary mark of honor. His opponent was the Hon. 
Edmund Eice, of St. Paul, a most estimable gentleman,, 
with popular family connections, and widely known over 
the state. Governor Pillsbury was, however, re-elected" 
by a large majority. This was the first and only instance- 
in our history where a governor was given a third term. 
But the people had such confidence in him that all pre- 
cedent was brushed aside in his favor. In this election 
Pillsbury received 57,524 votes, and Eice, 41,524. 

236 



JOHN SARGENT PILLSBUBY. 

The proposition for biennial sessions of the legis- 
lature having carried, there was no legislature in 1880. 
It was at this period that the hospital for the insane at 
St. Peter was burned. Winter was approaching and 
prompt action was required. But Governor Pillsbury 
was equal to the emergency. He advanced money out of 
his own pocket, as he had done before to aid the grass- 
hopper sufferers. The work was speedily done, and the 
helpless insane were provided for. 

The new legislature convened in 1881. The old 
battle for the payment of the unadjusted railroad bonds 
was renewed. The governor's untiring appeals for a 
settlement of this vexed problem had resulted in goorf 
educational work. The Pioneer Press, under the con- 
trol of that fearless apostle of the state's honor, Joseph 
A. Wheelock, did mighty service in convincing the peo- 
ple of the wisdom of purging its record of the great* 
stain resting upon its honor. Eeligious bodies joined in 
swelling the appeal for delayed justice. Public senti- 
ment itself grew stronger, so that the race of evading 
politicians who yet resisted the cleansing of the state's 
dishonored record were overwhelmed. The limits of this 
work will not admit of our pursuing the long and tor- 
tuous story of the state's final vindication. Suffice it to 
say that the closing days of Governor Pillsbury's ad- 
ministration were crowned with a noble triumph; the 
haunting specter of repudiation was driven away; and 
the proud young commonwealth, purged and purified, 
took its place in the sisterhood of honorable states. The 

237 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

victory was due more to the supreme efforts of John 
Sargent Pillsbury and Joseph A. Wheelock than to other 
instrumentalities, however valiant others may have been. 

It was during the closing period of Governor Pills- 
bury's last administration that the old territorial capi- 
tal, completed in 1853, was destroyed by fire. It was on 
the night of March 1, 1881, during the last days of 
the legislative session of that year. A thorough inspec- 
tion of the ruins was made, and a new building was 
found necessary. Plans secured by Governor Pillsbury 
were adopted, and the foundation was laid in the sum- 
mer of 1881. The fire had not ceased burning when 
the city of St. Paul, through its mayor and city council, 
generously tendered to Governor Pillsbury the large, new 
market house for the use of the state, pending the con- 
struction of the new building; and almost at the hour 
for its usual meeting on the following day the legisla- 
ture and all the officers of the state were there engaged 
in their regular order of work. That building for 
twenty-two months became the home of the state govern- 
ment. It was there, January 10, 1882, that Governor 
Pillsbury bade adieu to the cares and perplexities of 
gubernatorial life, which for six consecutive years he had 
so faithfully met and nobly performed. 

For the years following to the date of his death, 
he was industriously engaged in managing his large and 
prosperous private business. He was "now president of 
the board of regents of the state University, and gave to 
that institution most faithful and paternal care. In 

238 



JOHN SAEGENT PILLSBUKY. 

company with Judge Greenleaf Clark, he went East in 
1883 to search for a new president, Professor W. W. 
Folwell having resigned from the presidency after ser- 
vice during fourteen years. To this question he gave 
great care and consideration, and made a wise and for- 
tunate selection in securing Professor Cyrus Northrop 
of Yale College. 

April 16, 1889, was made memorable when, in the 
presence of the legislature, state officers, and board of 
regents, he took them all with complete surprise by his 
great gift of $150,000 to erect and complete Science Hall 
for the university, which has since been named Pillsbury 
Hall by the regents. This large and munificent dona- 
tion was fully appreciated, for it came at a time when 
the financial condition of the state made it impossible 
for the legislature to care further for the present neces- 
sities of the university. The residue of his life was 
marked by many public duties and adorned with private 
benefactions. 

In September, 1900, the year before he died, hi? 
statue in bronze, by Daniel Chester French, was placed 
in front of the library and administration building of 
the University, as the gift of many of its students, 
alumni, faculty, and friends. 

His last benefaction to his city was to provide for 
the erection of a beautiful library building, as a branch 
of the city public library for East Minneapolis, which 
w r as built after his death. 



239 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

It was during Pillsbury's last term as governor, in 
1880, that a very exciting congressional contest in the 
First District occurred. Hon. Mark H. Bunnell, a man 
of much force of character, was serving his fifth term 
in Congress, and much discontent was manifest in the 
district. It was alleged that he had built a "machine/' 
and it was the object of the opposition to break it in 
pieces. The result was a bitter and malignant contest 
such as is seldom seen. Every county in the district 
became involved, and two conventions were held in the 
same opera house at Waseca,, July 7, 1880. Hon. W. 
G. Ward was nominated by one convention, and Mark 
H. Bunnell by the other. The contest was thence car- 
ried to the people. An appeal w&s finally made to the 
state central committee, to decide which of the two pos- 
sessed the merit of regularity. The committee decided 
in favor of Bunnell, and the machinery of the party 
prevailed and Bunnell was elected. 

Still another bitter internecine political war occur- 
red later, in 1882, during the closing of the Pillsbury 
administration. Hon. Knute Nelson and C. F. Kindred 
were both Eepublican candidates for Congress in the 
Fifth Congressional Bistrict, composed of twenty-eight 
northern counties. The rivalry for the nomiantion as- 
sumed the most intense form. Kindred was a wealthy 
man and spent money freely. It also resulted in a 
double-headed convention, held at Betroit, July 12th, 
1882. Brass bands, shouting processions and yelling 
delegates, as if pandemonium had broken loose, were 

240 



JOHN SARGENT PILLS BURY. 

the order of the day. While there was no absolute vio- 
lence, the air was thick with basest adjectives. Again 
the authority of the Republican state central committee 
was invoked to settle the question of regularity, and the 
decision was in favor of Nelson. But Kindred was not 
subdued. He spent money lavishly, established newspa- 
pers, and had an expensive literary bureau. With brass 
bands, torch-light processions, special trains, the cam- 
paign blazed with intense heat. With a shattered for- 
tune, Kindred emerged from the campaign a defeated 
candidate. Never before nor since has the state wit- 
nessed such a political plunger. In November the vote 
stood Nelson, 16,956; Kindred, 12,238; and E. P. Bar- 
num, Democrat, 6,248. "Regularity" and the Scandi- 
navian vote did the work for Nelson, and ushered into 
our state politics a virile Norseman, who, ever since, 
has not only maintained but steadily increased his poli- 
tical power. 

It was during the administration of Governor Pills- 
bury, that the country was shocked by the assassination 
of President Garfield, an act abhorrent to the civilized 
world. William Windom, an honored son of Minnesota, 
was the successful Secretary of the United States Treas- 
ury, and his brilliant financial policy reflected great honor 
upon the state. The counties of Beltrami, Norman, Kitt- 
son, Marshall, Pipestone and Kanabec, were organized. 

One of the notable incidents during this administra- 
tion was the trial and impeachment of E. St. Julien 
Cox, judge of the Ninth Judicial District. Intemperate 

is 241 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

habits, while on the bench and in the discharge of offic- 
ial functions, were the gist of the charges, which were 
sustained by the court of impeachment, and he was de- 
posed from office. 

Governor Pillsbury was in all respects a remarkable 
man. Like Alexander Eamsey, he possessed that rarest 
of all faculties, common sense. His services to the state 
were truly valuable. He displayed firmness, ability, and 
wonderful business sagacity in the important scenes in 
which' he performed so conspicuous a part. He was not, 
like Eamsey or Sibley, one of the original constructors 
of the state, but he was the great Conservator of the 
commonwealth. He was more, not only preserving from 
loss or injury, but augmenting and improving every de- 
partment of the state government. He never demeaned 
himself by pandering to political prejudices. The arts 
of a demagogue never were his. He never quailed before 
public opinion. He possessed the faculty of doing great 
work easily; his self control was admirable. 

Of all our governors he was the most paternal. He 
cared for the people like a good father. His sympathies 
were tender and sweet. His personal qualities were not 
such as to compel special admiration, he was no orator 
nor even public speaker. But when it came to practical 
administrative ability, he ranked with the highest. Pills- 
bury and Hubbard were much on a level in this regard. 
The end of all government is the comfort and happiness 
of the people, and these things Governor Pillsbury stud- 
ied with assiduous care. He seemed to be animated 
242 



JOHN SABGENT PILLSBURY. 

solely with the desire of furthering the public good. His 
judicial and other important appointments were all above 
party bias, and won the good opinion of all parties. 

Governor Pillsbury possessed a strong religious na- 
ture, and had profound respect for all religious matters. 
Though not a member of any church, he joined his wife 
in regular attendance at the First Congregational church, 
of which he was an officer, and she a devoted member. 

Aside from the multidudinous details of lesser mat- 
ters which commanded time and attention during his 
long service as governor, but which, important as they 
were, will be speedily forgotten, there are two things 
which will ever stand as enduring monuments to his 
honor and fame: That the University exists at all, and 
has prospered till it has become a state benediction; this, 
and the proud achievement of placing the state on the 
solid basis of financial honor. These alone will' evw 
preserve his name in grateful remembrance. 

Governor Pillsbury died at his home in Minneapolis, 
October 18th, 1901. 

He was married in Warner, N. H., November 3, 
1856, to Miss Mahala Fisk. Her family, on both sides, 
were very prominent people, with a noble New England 
ancestry. She was well educated and was a graduate of 
Sanbornton Seminary at the age of nineteen, when she 
became a teacher, and only retired from that profession 
to become the wife of John Sargent Pillsbury, and at 
once removed to the far West. She shared all her hus- 
band's trials and final success, and was ever Ms safe and 

243 



GOVEKNOES OP MINNESOTA. 

prudent counselor. Her annual receptions at her home 
to the students of the senior class of the University will" 
ever be remembered as unique and enjoyable occasions. 
She still resides at the family homestead, number 1005 
Eifth street southeast, in Minneapolis. 

Mrs. Pillsbury is noted for many noble qualities, 
and is a woman of fine culture and tenderness of heart. 
Her broad and Christian charities mark well her kindly 
nature. 

To the marriage of this goodly couple there came 
three children, two daughters, Susan M. (Mrs. Fred B. 
Snyder) and Sarah Belle (Mrs. Edward C. Gale), and 
a son, Alfred Eisk. They also had an adopted daughter, 
Addie A. (Mrs. Charles M. Webster), who died April 
2. 1885. 



The inaugural message of Governor Pillsbury to the 
state legislature, January 7, 1876, was published as a 
pamphlet of 28 pages, and as the second paper in the 
Executive Documents of Minnesota for the year 1875 (St. 
Paul, 1876). The opening paragraphs read thus: 

In making, for the first time, that communication to you 
touching the condition of the State, which both the constitu- 
tion and invariable custom enjoin upon the Executive, I desire 
to express my deep sense of the responsibility I have assumed, 
and to invoke your aid and co-operation in the faithful per- 
formance of the duties which the people have devolved alike 
upon us. 

The period we have reached in the development of our 
State affords an occasion both for congratulation and for warn- 
ing. We cannot but indulge feelings of pride and gratitude 
when we reflect that where, a quarter of a century ago, there 
was an unbroken wilderness, inhabited only by the wild beasts 

244 



JOHN SAEGEXT PILLSBUKY. 

and savage men, there exists today a vigorous young com- 
monwealth of 600,000 people, blest with all the appliances and 
comforts of civilized life; that solitary wastes have been sup- 
planted by illimitable grain fields; that idle rivers have been 
bound to the myriad uses of productive industry; that the 
young State, which, upon her admission to the Union, im- 
ported breadstuff's to feed the speculators in her unproductive 
lands, is, in her eighteenth year, the first wheat State of the 
Sisterhood; that where fourteen years ago there was not one 
mile of completed railroad, 2,000 miles are now taxed to their 
utmost to carry off the surplus products; and that everywhere 
throughout the State, church and school-house, thriving cities 
and busy industries, mark the abode of a prosperous, energetic 
and happy people. For progress so unexampled, and prosperity 
so bountiful, our grateful thanks are due to Almighty God, 
who has wonderfully upheld us in adversity, and brought us 
to the verge of great opportunities; but, while thankful for 
such blessings, we should not be unmindful of those opportuni- 
ties, nor of the responsibilities which they impose. 

The annual message delivered January 4, 1877, wa& 
published as the first paper in the Executive Documents 
for 1876 (St. Paul, 1877), and in the same form as a 
pamphlet, 42 pages. The unpaid railroad bonds, long a 
vexed question, are treated in four pages; and the 
devastations by grasshoppers are the theme • of five 
pages. Concerning the state school system, Governor 
Pillsbury said in this message: 

Perhaps the most inevitable conclusion to which a study 
of our school system leads, is the necessity that its various de- 
partmental agencies and appointments should form auxiliary 
parts of a harmonious whole; that its successive steps should 
constitute a regular gradation from the alphabet to collegiate 
maturity, and that, like the rills and streams which, however 
differing in character and varying in course, reach a comman 
goal in the ocean, the primary instruction in the common school 
should lead by easy stages to the crowning scholarship of the 
university. All alike are the gift of the State to her people 
dictated by the enlightened policy which qualifies the citizen 
for the duties demanded of him, and which sows and nourishes 
according to the bounty of the expected harvest. * . * * 

To the end desired it is therefore essential that in every 
stage of instruction and in every variety of school, the purpose, 
or at least the possibility, of this ascending continuity should 

245 



GOVEBNOES OP MINNESOTA. 

be kept constantly in view, and especially that the finishing 
course elsewhere should fit pupils for freshmen at the univer- 
sity. This is essential to the highest efficiency whether in the 
lower or higher branches. It would save the time, labor and 
means now comparatively wasted in special preparatory schools, 
and furnish a perennial supply of trained pupils to push for- 
ward without interruption to the coveted goal of a complete 
education. The advantages are obvious to all concerned, and 
although unhappily the majority must fall out by the way, di- 
verted by the exigencies of business pursuits, it should ever 
be a leading and cherished object of our educational system 
to afford at least a standing opportunity to the more fortu- 
nate and persistent, for an unobstructed pursuit in the path- 
way of learning from the beginning to the end of a complete 
education. I invoke at your hands such fostering care of the 
educational institutions of the State as will ensure a growth 
commensurate with a proud material development, and ade- 
quate to the wants of an expanding future. 

January 11, 1878, Governor Pillsbury delivered his 
third message to the legislature, published as a pamph- 
let of 36 pages and as pages 13-48 in Volume I of the 
Executive Documents of Minnesota for 1877 (Minneapo- 
lis, 1878). On the subject of retrenchment and careful 
economy in public and private expenditures, he said: 

* * * Now that we are emerging from a period of what 
is termed hard times, there is danger that our best men, im- 
pelled by a renewed spirit of enterprise, may plunge into re- 
newed excesses. This is the periodical liability, especially of 
energetic communities. The facility with which immediate re- 
sults may be reached by entailing their cost upon posterity, 
is a constant incentive to premature undertakings. If these 
were prosecuted only as fast as they could be paid for in 
cash, they would be limited to the urgent need of the hour, 
and extravagent expenditures and resulting oppressive taxation 
would be effectually checked. Hence the obvious policy of dis- 
countenancing the contraction of debt and the consistent obli- 
gation o'f ail good citizens to curtail their private expenses and 
live within their means. 



With . all the financial skill and boasted progress of the 
age, no short cut has yet been discovered as an escape from 
the time-honored necessity to spend less than we make, as 
the first essential to real success. Whatever may be said for 

246 



JOHN SAEGEXT PILLSBUKY. 

our material and political prosperity, it is not flattering to 
our vaunted civilization that we possess so little social wisdom; 
that we encumber our neighborly intercourse with the costly 
follies and affectations of a bedizened society; that we ham- 
per our social freedom with the machinery of needless conven- 
tionality, and jeopard both our peace of mind and financial 
standing, to support the mockery of social parade. 

Pillsbury's message of January 9, 1879, to the 
twenty-first legislature, the last holding an annual session, 
was published in 25 pages, as a pamphlet and as the 
first paper in Volume I of the Executive Documents for 
1878 (Minneapolis, 1879). He presented arguments in 
favor of holding only biennial elections as follows: 

The constitutional amendment providing for biennial, in 
lieu of annual, sessions of the Legislature will necessitate much 
adjustment of administrative machinery to correspond there- 
with. In effecting this, great care will be required to include 
practical details of an essential nature pertaining to the sev- 
eral branches of the government. The changes required and 
the examination necessarily given to the subject, would seem 
to afford a suitable opportunity for the consideration of an- 
other question of importance. The extraordinary frequency of 
elections has long been deemed by reflecting men one of the 
most serious evils pertaining to our form of government. The 
differing duration of our State offices requiring elections to fill 
some of them annually, and the different seasons in which 
township and municipal elections are held, leave intervals so 
short that the public finds little repose from the distractions of 
political warfare. The deleterious effect of these constant dis- 
turbances is manifest. They are unfavorable to public order, 
to the pursuit of private business, and to the dispassionate 
discussion of questions concerning the common welfare; they 
increase the aversion to political duty entertained by orderly 
and , busy men, through whose default bad men are elected 
to office; while the expenses attending such frequent elections 
entail a heavy burden upon the people. In view of these 
evils, I suggest the inquiry whether an obvious public interest 
would not be subserved by providing for such amendments to 
the laws and Constitution as would require biennial elections 
only. For this purpose it would be necessary to cause our 
State elections to take place the same year as that in which 
members of Congress are elected, which would conform to that 
in which members of the Legislature are now biennially chosen, 
and also to the year in which the Presidential election alter- 
nately takes place. * * * 

247 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The first biennial session of the legislature began 
January 4, 1881, and on January 6 Governor Piilsbury 
delivered his message, which forms thirty pages as a 
pamphlet and also as the first paper in the Executive 
Documents for 1880 (published in 1881). The last 
four pages relate to the deferred settlement of the state 
debt in its dishonored railroad bonds. 

As a result from an act passed in that session, to 
provide for redemption of these bonds, and from deci- 
sions later given by the State Supreme Court, the gover- 
nor summoned this legislature to an extra session, in 
which, on October 12, 1881, he presented a message that 
was published as a pamphlet of ten pages. In the clos- 
ing part he said: 

The act of the last Legislature, proposing an amendment to 
the Constitution devoting the proceeds of the Internal Improve- 
ment Lands to the payment of the adjustment bonds has been 
rendered inoperative by the decision of the Supreme Court. 
It will therefore be necessary to promptly re-adjust and re- 
enact its provisions to conform to the new action to be taken, 
in order to submit the proposed amendment to the people at 
the approaching general election. The average price realized 
thus far for the l&nds sold is about $7 per acre; and the fund 
from such sales already amounts to $800,000. In view of the 
rapid settlement of the country it is believed that the total 
sum which will be finally realized from the sale of these lands 
will reach $4,000,000, a sum nearly or quite sufficient to pay 
the whole indebtedness without recourse to taxation. That 
there may be no wrong impression on your minds regarding 
the whole amount due on these bonds, I would say that by a 
former decision of our Supreme Court, past-due coupons draw 
interest, as well as the bonds to which they are attached, and 
should interest be computed in accordance with this decision 
the whole debt would amount, on December 1, 1881, to about 
$8,200,000, and, should the pending proposition be consummated, 
the saving to the State will thus be about $4,000,000. 

If this opportunity be not immediately embraced, I am 
fully persuaded it will never occur again, for it cannot longer 
be expected that partial payment will hereafter be accepted 

248 



JOHN SARGENT PILLSBUEY. 

by the holders of these obligations in view of the ability of 
the State to pay in full and the verdict of its highest court 
assigning to the Legislature the duty to provide for pay- 
ment. * * * 

For the enduring welfare of the fair State we have chosen 
as our home; as we would justly share in that national heri- 
tage of financial honor which is the wonder of the world; 
that we may deserve the reward of a generous prosperity, and 
invoke the blessings of Almighty God — I entreat you as a 
parting word to perform a simple act of justice which shall 
forever put at rest the haunting spectre of repudiation, and 
place our young commonwealth irrevocably in the sisterhood 
of honorable States. 

Under date of June 1, 1892, a convenient reference 
book of 132 pages, compiled by Governor Pillsbury, was 
published in Minneapolis, entitled "A Compilation of 
National and State Laws relating to the University of 
Minnesota; also a description of the unsold lands grant- 
ed by Acts of Congress for the endowment of said 
University, including a statement of the permanent 
University fund at interest, etc., etc." 

July 13, 1892, Governor Pillsbury gave an address 
in his native town, which was published in a volume 
of 171 pages, entitled "Dedication of the Pillsbury Mem- 
orial Hall in Sutton, 1ST. H." (printed in Concord, N. H. 
1893). This address, forming a part of the dedicatory 
exercises, is in pages 73-100. It reviews the marvelous 
growth of the United States during the forty-eight years 
from the spring of 1844, when Pillsbury as a youth 
of seventeen years left his boyhood home. The gift of 
the Memorial Town Hall, by Governor and Mrs. Pills- 
bury, he noted in these words: 

And so, gentlemen, selectmen, and officers of my native 
town, I have returned here today, with her who for more 

249 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

than a generation has been my companion, my helper, my wife, 
and I feel that it is fitting that she who during these long 
intervening years has shared with me all the burdens and 
experiences of life, and with me has passed through the 
shadows and sorrows of life, as well as its joys and sunny 
places, who joined her heart to mine when all we possessed 
was the mutual love we bore each other, should share with 
me in making this gift to the town of Sutton. Through you, 
gentlemen, and in the nanie of my honored parents, whose 
sacred ashes repose in this town, we present to the town of 
Sutton a deed of this building and we now deliver to you its 
keys. This gift we make without conditions or reservations. 
It is our hope that this building may remain many generations 
after we and our children have passed away. It is our desire 
that you use it not only for all your public meetings and assem- 
blies, but as a town hall, where not only your citizenship may 
be exercised, but where all matters which make for the com- 
mon good may have a full and fair hearing, where patriotism 
and individual ambition may be incited and stirred, and where 
the young who shall come after us shall be led on to a 
higher manhood and a great enthusiasm for whatever will ad- 
vance mankind. 

The following is a copy of the title-page of a pam- 
phlet of 33 pages, which gives a concise history of a 
large part of Governor Pillsbury's public services and 
also states quite as fully the work of his associates: "An 
Address delivered by Hon. John S. Pillsbury, before the 
Alumni of the University of Minnesota, at the West 
Hotel, Minneapolis, June 1st, 1893, being a sketch of the 
growth and development of the University for the 
thirty years in which he has been a regent. Published 
by the Alumni Association of the University of Min- 
nesota." 

Another and probably the last of his public ad- 
dresses was delivered in St. Paul, November 15, 1899, 
in the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the 
organization of the Minnesota Historical Society, pub- 
lished in its Collections, Volume IX, pages 597-601. 

250 




LICK'S F. HUBBARD. 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD 

Ninth Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born in Troy, New York, 
January 26, 1836, and is still living in 
St. Paul. He engaged in journalism, 
milling, and railroad operations; and was 
brigadier general in the Civil War. He 
was a State senator in 1872-5; and was 
governor of Minnesota from January 
10, 1882, to January 5, 1887. 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD 

NINTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 
January 10, 1882, to January 5, 1877. 



AMOKG the names that adorn our gubernatorial 
gallery, few stand higher in practical good 
sense/ in personal character, political integrity, and in 
patriotic devotion to his country in its most trying 
crisis, than Lucius Frederick Hubbard, the ninth gov- 
ernor of our state. 

He directly followed another governor of practical 
and sagacious administrative ability, John Sargent Pills- 
bury, and that era of eleven years may be denominated 
the era of sound common sense in the administration of 
the state government. There is a royalty in that sterl- 
ing good sense which is the best genius for mankind. 
You look in vain for its possessors to do a foolish 
thing; but wisdom guides their councils, and good judg- 
ment, with corresponding good results, crowns their 
public career with the happiest consequences. 

Conscious as every one must feel how naturally our 
judgment may be biased by long personal friendship in 
the opinions we form of public men, yet I have most 
strenuously endeavored to treat each and all in this 

253 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

series of our governors with the historian's unbiased 
judgment as to themselves and their relation to their 
times and to public measures. It is the constant ob- 
ject of these pages to record only just and true history. 
Some, therefore, may be crowned with honor; others may 
at times suffer a shade to their discredit; but all should 
be clothed in the garments of truth. Public men must 
learn that it is their ultimate fate to be weighed and 
estimated both by their personal character and their 
public performances, for the private life of every public 
man will tinge his reputation, and no apparent public 
virtue can suppress the story of tainted private morals. 
These observations are a salutary lesson to those ambi- 
tious politicians whose eyes should often turn towards 
an impartial posterity. 

Lucius Frederick Hubbard was born January 26th, 
1836, at Troy, New York. He was a descendant, on the 
father's side, of that Hubbard family (George Hubbard 
and Mary Bishop) that emigrated from England to this 
country and settled in Connecticut in the seventeenth 
century. On the mother's side (Van Valkenburg) he 
came of the Holland Dutch stock that have occupied the 
valley of the Hudson river since its earliest history. 
His great grandfather was Israel Hubbard, who was a 
delegate to the Provincial Congress in Massachusetts 
Bay from the town of Sunderland in 1774, and in 
many active ways contributed to the work of preparing 
for the Kevolution. His grandmother, on the mother's 
side, Margaret Van Cott, was a cousin of President 
254 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

Martin Van Buren. Young Hubbard was well blooded 
on both sides of the ancestral tree. 

His father was Charles E. Hubbard, sheriff of 
Rensselaer county, N". Y., a man of high standing and 
influence. His mother was Margaret Van Valkenburg. 

His father died when he was only three years old, 
and his mother died when he was ten years of age. 
The young orphan on the death of his father was sent 
to live with an aunt at Chester, Vermont, where he 
attended the district school for three years. Subsequent- 
ly he attended an academy at Granville, N". Y. At 
the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a tin smith, 
and gave his attention to his trade till he was eighteen 
yearn of age. He then, in 1854, went to Chicago, 
where he worked at his trade for three years. Caught 
in the current of emigration then setting to. the great 
Northwest, he removed to Red Wing in July, 1857. 
With literary and political predilections, and having 
brought with him a printing press and type, he es- 
tablished in that young and promising city the "Red 
Wing Republican," the first number of which was is- 
sued September 4, 1857, and which has had a con- 
tinuous existence since that date. He continued as 
the publisher and editor of that paper till he enlisted 
in the war. 

He came to Red Wing in time to experience the 
trials and rugged battles of frontier life. The admis- 
sion of Minnesota Territory as a state was then being 
agitated, and party strife was warm over the control 

255 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

of the first administration. The Kansas-Nebraska bill 
and Squatter Sovereignty were in the heat of discussion, 
and the extension of slavery was the burning question. 
These conditions made party strife strenuous indeed. 
Politics was the one great business of life, for the re- 
sources of the country had not yet appeared. Then came 
the climax of financial disaster in the panic of 1857. 
Following this was the era of "wildcat" banking, with 
its speedily discredited issues. Town lots lost alike 
their intrinsic and inflated values. The "Five Million 
Loan Bill," to aid in the building of land grant rail- 
roads, appeared upon the scene, but, instead of bringing 
financial relief, resulted in imposing a lasting debt 
upon the state. Money reached the appalling usury 
of "five per cent a month." These were some of the 
experiences of the pioneer of that day. But in 
a few years the clouds which lowered over the young 
state passed away, and the sun of a prosperity which has 
never since failed sent its cheerful rays over the land. 

Young Hubbard was nursed under these condi- 
tions and strengthened for the battles before him. In 
his new home he was surrounded by men of strong 
personality, who required manly men to compete with 
them. 

There was Colonel William Colvill, of the First 
Minnesota Regiment, whose courage in battle was second 
to no man's in the Civil War. There was William Free- 
born, a typical pioneer, who delighted to live on the 
outer fringe of civilization, and for whom a noble 

256 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

count}' was named. There also was Joseph A. Tha- 
cher, the "farmer statesman" of Zumbrota, whose 
ability sent him often to the legislature, where he was 
an efficient and strong man. There also should be 
mentioned Judge Eli T. Wilder, a noble and stately char- 
acter, whose sterling integrity and decided ability made 
him a valuable asset in Red Wing. Theodore B. Shel- 
don should be justly named, who was a true represen- 
tative of the business and commercial interests of the 
place, who left a large fortune and bequeathed to the 
city a noble auditorium building as a token of his af- 
fectionate regard. In this list of compeers should be 
noticed the Hon. William W. Phelps, afterward a mem- 
ber of Congress from the new state, a man of ability, 
culture and popularity. With him was associated the 
genial and humorous C. C. Graham. These ardent spir- 
its controlled the United States land office, which was 
the center of business in that day. 

One of the striking characters of the Hubbard 
period was Samuel P. Jennison. He was private secre- 
tary to Governor Hubbard, and he had been private sec- 
retary to Governors Ramsey and Marshall. He was 
secretary of state from 1872 to 1876. He was a de- 
cided factor in politics from his part of the state, and 
was one of the brainy men of the day. He achieved 
signal honors in the military field. Entering the service 
as adjutant of the Second Minnesota, he was speedily 
promoted for gallantry at the battle of Mill Springs 
to be lieutenant colonel of the Tenth Minnesota. Being 
it 257 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

in command of that regiment at the battle of Nashville, 
he was severely wounded, and was made brevet brigadier 
general for his conspicuous gallantry. He is a man 
who will long be remembered in his part of the state. 
He now resides at Covina in southern California. 

One morning in April, 1861, the thunder of hostile 
cannon on American soil thrilled every patriot's heart. 
The young, the brave, the loyal, by a common impulse 
sprang to arms. Among those prompt to follow the nag 
was Lucius Frederick Hubbard. December 19, 1861, 
he enlisted as a private in Company A, Fifth Minnesota 
Infantry. His zeal and usefulness caused him to be 
elected captain of the company February 5, 1862. 
Thence began a military career which for incessant ac- 
tivity, the number of campaigns and engagements in 
which he participated, and the courage he displayed, has 
no superior, if any equal, in the great army of officers 
who served in the civil war from the state of Minnesota. 
This is a high encomium, but the official record sus- 
tains the eulogy. 

His promotions were rapid but well deserved. He 
was made lieutenant colonel March 24, 1862; colonel, 
August 31, 1862; mustered as a veteran, February 12, 
1864; and brevetted as a brigadier general, December 
16, 1864, for "conspicuous gallantry in the battle of 
Nashville, Dee. 15 and 16/' 1864. 

Seven companies of the Fifth Minnesota regiment 
(the three others remaining in the service against the 
hostile Sioux) were ordered South under Colonel Hub- 
258 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

bard, and on the 24th of May, 1862, reported to Gen- 
eral John Pope in the field before Corinth. Scarcely had 
the regiment established its camp and realized its 
surroundings, before it was brought into action. Four 
days after it reached the front it was precipitated into 
the battle of Farmington, an engagement which 
led up to the siege and capture of Corinth. Here the 
regiment received its first baptism of fire, and its gal- 
lant conduct was attested by its list of killed and 
wounded. Among the wounded was Colonel Hubbard. 
After this came the battle of Iuka ; then weary and burn- 
ing marches till they confronted the rebels at Corinth. 

There are many events in Governor Hubbard's mili- 
tary career especially worthy of mention. But what 
was done at Corinth, Mississippi, October 3 and 
4, 1862, must not be omitted. The charge of the 
Fifth Minnesota in the streets of Corinth was one of the 
most important features of that battle, for according 
to General Stanley, who commanded the division, it 
saved the day. This fact was fully confirmed by 
General Rosecrans, in command of the army, and by 
Archbishop Ireland's testimony, who, as regimental chap- 
lain, was on the ground and witnessed the prompt and 
effective action of the Fifth at the critical point in the 
tide of battle. "Veterans could not have done better/' 
said General" Rosecrans. 

It is very proper to remark here that the Rev. 
John Ireland, a neophyte priest of St. Paul, made his 
entrance into public life with Colonel Hubbard, as 

259 



GOVEKNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota Volunteers. This re- 
markable man, earnest, holy, and heroic, signalized his 
advent into the great world by an act of devotion to his 
imperiled country. In his young manhood, ere the 
cares of life had ploughed his forehead, he demonstra- 
ted then, as now, his earnest patriotism. He has grown 
in stature till he has become one of the leading char- 
acters in influence in this country and in the world. 
No prelate in his church overtops him in public esteem. 
Ireland is, indeed, the patriotic prelate. America feels 
that no dignitary of his church could be more ap- 
propriately decorated with the cardinal's red hat, than 
the Be v. John Ireland, archbishop of St. Paul. 

The Fifth Minnesota regiment was now a part 
of the Fifteenth Army Corps, the organization of the 
army into corps occurring early in 1863. Colonel 
Hubbard commanded the brigade which included the 
Fifth regiment after the battle of Corinth, during the 
siege of Vicksburg, that Gibraltar of the West, and 
continuously till the. close of the war. 

After the fall of Vicksburg, Colonel Hubbard be- 
ing in command of his old brigade, it was assigned to the 
Sixteenth Army Corps under that fiery soldier, General 
A. J. Simith. Hubbard took part in the fated expedition 
in the Spring of 1864 under General Banks up the Red 
river, where the valor of his brigade was illustrated 
on many hard fought fields, and where precious blood 
was poured out without avail because of the general 
incompetence of the unfortunate leader of that ill- 
260 



LUCIUS FEEDEEICK HUBBARD. 

starred expedition. There brave men fought and won 
seven battles, but lost the campaign. 

Following this campaign, Colonel Hubbard com- 
manded the Second brigade of the First Division of the 
Sixteenth Army Corps. After the return, a campaign 
was made during the Autumn of 1864 in Northern Mis- 
sissippi, across Arkansas, and into Missouri in pursuit 
of General Price. 

Previous to the Eed Eiver Expedition, the members 
of the Fifth Minnesota regiment had been re-enlisted 
as veterans at Black Eiver Bridge, Mississippi, February 
12, 1864. 

After this date Colonel Hubbard was not in im- 
mediate command of his. regiment again during the 
war; but the regiment was fortunately included in the 
Second .brigade before noted as under his command. 

At this era of the war General Sherman, now a vic- 
tor at Atlanta, was the center of every military eye 
in the nation. His marvelous campaign, "smashing 
things to the sea," was determined upon. But in hi$ 
rear was a veteran Confederate army, more than 50,000 
strong, under General John B. Hood, a born fighter, 
whose purpose was to draw Sherman from Atlanta, and 
neutralize his splendid Atlanta campaign. This force 
now seemed headed for the Ohio river. But General 
George H. Thomas, under orders from Washington, 
sounded his trumpet, calling every scattered regiment 
within reach, to retard Hood's advance and to protect 
Sherman's rear. Among these regiments were the Fifth, 

261 



GOV ERRORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Minnesota Infantry. Hence 
it came that Minnesota had more of her troops repre- 
sented in the great battle soon to follow than in any 
other contest of the war. 

These Minnesota regiments were attached to the 
First Division, commanded by General John McArthur. 
The Second brigade included the Fifth and Ninth Min- 
nesota, and was commanded by Colonel Hubbard. While 
this hurried organization and these dispositions were 
being effected by General Thomas' order, General Seho- 
fleld interposed a valiant little army against Hood's ad- 
vance at the village of Franklin. There occurred what' 
was perhaps the bloodiest battle of the war. Hood again 
and again fiercely attacked the light entrenchments of 
Schofield, but his columns were hurled back by a prodig- 
ious fire, and the wreck of guns and the dead and dying 
told of the carnage which was wrought. Schofield ac- 
complished the imperious purpose of the battle, holding 
Hood in check while Thomas was gathering and organiz- 
ing his scattered forces for the great battle of Nash- 
ville. 

Sherman fought no important battles in his march 
from Atlanta to the sea. These were all fought by the 
"Kock of Chickamauga" in the one engagement at Nash- 
ville. For two tempestuous days, December 15 and 16, 
1864, the battle raged. The four Minnesota regiments, 
by the chance of war, were all aligned upon the same 
front, and were all fired with the same unconquerable 
resolution to win the victory. When that intrepid 
262 



LUCIUS PEEDEEICK HUBBARD. 

Scotchman, General McArthur, gave the final order for 
the grand charge, the Minnesota regiments seized the 
initiative, and never lost it, though smitten with a temp- 
est of shot and shell, till the enemy was driven from 
his entrenchments and practically destroyed, and four 
Minnesota flags were floating from Hood's abandoned 
ramparts. That day the sons of Minnesota wrote the 
story of their unshaken valor upon Southern soil. The 
gallantry of her men and officers was the theme of all 
tongues. 

Hubbard's brigade had captured nine pieces of ar- 
tillery, seven stands of colors, and many prisoners. It 
is officially recorded that Hubbard had three horses shot 
under him, and was himself wounded. For his gallant 
conduct in this memorable battle, upon the recommenda- 
tion of Generals Thomas, Smith, and McArthur, a gol- 
den star was placed upon his shoulder. 

Subsequently his brigade was one of the foremost 
in the siege and capture of Spanish Fort and Mobile. ' 

The campaign against Mobile was practically the 
close of General Hubbard's career as a soldier in the 
Civil War. His regiment and brigade, with him as com- 
mander, had traversed six rebel .states, participated in 
thirteen campaigns, five sieges, and thirty-four battles 
and important engagements, and had lost quite as many 
men in the casualties of the service as were numbered in 
the ranks of the brigade when it first reported at the 
front. 



263 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Seldom, if ever, has it fallen to the lot of any other 
field officer to possess a record of such remarkable activ- 
ity. General John B. Sanborn, of the Fourth Regi- 
ment, was in very many engagements and battles, but 
numerically much less than Hubbard. While the "Old 
First" possesses a glorious record of many great battles, 
yet no one of its illustrious officers can parallel the en- 
gagements of the colonel of the Fifth. Twenty battle 
fields were emblazoned on the flag of the First; thirty- 
four on the flag of the Fifth. The military history of 
our Minnesota regiments in the Civil War is justly a 
matter of state pride, and is the exemplification of a 
Roman courage, in this their virgin effort in "embattled 
ranks/'' which stamps, for all time, the character of her 
sons for dauntless valor. The pass of Thermopylae, 
the graves of Marathon, the plain of Bannockburn, still 
attract the admiration of the generous and brave among 
men. So the field of Gettysburg, the slopes of Nash- 
ville, the bloody heights of Missionary Ridge, will ren- 
der the name of Minnesota immortal in the annals of the 
world's patriot battles, not only for the luster ever wait- 
ing on lofty courage, but for the moral grandeur of that 
patriotism which inspired her soldiers in a truly just 
and noble cause. When the battles of Napoleon are but 
the shadow of a remembrance, these patriot combats 
will shine in un decaying luster in our state history. 

From men like General Hubbard we learn the adapt- 
ability, the skill, the aptitude of. the American volunteer 
to be speedily converted into the thorough soldier. Yes- 

264 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

terday a country editor, scarcely haying fired a gun; 
today a private soldier; within less than six months hold- 
ing a colonel's high commission, leading a regiment of 
a thousand men with judgment, with coolness, and by 
strict military tactics, as though bred a soldier from his 
youth. The genius of the American volunteer was 
proven equal to the extraordinary demand, guided by 
intelligence and fired by that patriotism which is planted 
eternally in every American bosom. 

This is why a great standing army is not essen- 
tial in the United States of America. There is a phan- 
tom army forever bivouacked on our hills and in our 
valleys, which needs but the touch of a just cause to 
rise, clothed with flesh and blood, in multitudinous and 
resistless power, to effect the overthrow of any adversary. 
It is the duty of the historian to let no occasion pass in 
commemorating the courage, skill, consummate ability, 
and glowing patriotism of the American volunteer. 

General Hubbard was mustered out of service Sep- 
tember 6, 1865, when he returned to his old home at 
Red Wing. He at once engaged in the pursuits of peace, 
and embarked extensively, in 1866, in the grain busi- 
ness, and subsequently added the milling industry to his 
activities. In 1871 and 1873 he was elected as a Re- 
publican to the state senate, where he had an industrious 
and honorable career. In 1874 he was appointed by the 
legislature one of the arbitrators to settle the dispute be- 
tween the state and prison contractors; and also he was 
appointed by Governor Marshall one of the commis- 

265 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

sioners to investigate the embarrassing question of the 
proper adjustment of the old state railroad bonds. In 
1877-78, in association with two other gentlemen, he 
contracted the building of the "Midland Railroad/' from 
Wabasha to Zumbrota. This road has since become a 
part of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul system. In 
1880-81 he became president of the Cannon Valley Rail- 
road, a line leading from Red Wing to Mankato, which 
has since become a part of the Chicago and Great West- 
ern system. Subsequently, in 1887, he superintended the 
construction of the Duluth, Red Wing and Southern 
Railroad, and for several years was general manager of 
its operations. This line was afterward absorbed by the 
Chicago and Great Western. 

These varied pursuits illustrate the activity of Gen- 
eral Hubbard after the close of his war service. Never 
for one moment idle, he was always absorbed in import- 
ant enterprises which were for the upbuilding of his city 
and locality. His energy and constant industry did 
much, if not more than that of any other single individ- 
ual, to assure the growth and prosperity that has given 
Red Wing its well deserved high rank among the most 
progressive and delightful cities of the state. 

His career as mechanic, editor, state senator, soldier, 
grain merchant and miller, railroad contractor and man- 
ager, with the attending wide experiences of men and 
business, — these educational forces and dramatic life on 
a frontier, — led him up to the next important event in 
his varied life. 

266 



LUCIUS FEEDBRICK H U B B A E D. 

There was a good deal of politics abroad in Minne- 
sota in 1881, although the state was solidly Bepublican. 
The preceding political campaign had enthused itself 
about the celebrated <f brass kettle," a two-quart measure 
used by buyers for grading wheat. By the manipulation 
of this measure, it was claimed, by Ignatius Donnelly 
and his followers, that the farmers were systematically 
swindled. Under the restless Donnelly's skillful man- 
agement, it precipitated a strenuous campaign. Origin- 
ally a Republican, Donnelly became the Democratic can- 
didate for Congress in the Third District, and made 
one of the most active campaigns the state had yet wit- 
nessed. But W. D. Washburn was elected by a good 
majority, and Donnelly, as usual, was turned down. 

The excitement aroused by this campaign served 
to warm the people to political action, though no great 
interests were really at stake. John S. Pillsbury had 
been governor three terms, and a good governor he had 
been. Party usages, however, decided that he should 
now be retired and a new man sought. A flock of am- 
bitious men appeared in the field, but the lead, from 
the beginning, was conceded to General Lucius F. Hub- 
bard, of Goodhue county, and he was nominated on the 
first formal ballot. 

Hubbard's competitor was General Eichard W. John- 
son, of St. Paul, a gentleman of culture and good ability, 
and a Democrat of high standing, with a good military 
record in the Civil War. General Hubbard was elected 
by a vote of 65,025, against 37,168 for Johnson. This 

267 



GOVEKNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

vote illustrates the relative strength, of the two parties 
at that period, as well as the popularity of Hubbard. 

Some intestine contentions disturbed the harmony 
of the Eepubliean party at the time of Hubbard's advent 
to power, but none of them reflected upon the Governor 
himself. The senatorial term of the Hon. William 
Windom was about to expire (March 4th, 1883). Sena- 
tor Windom, it was alleged, had been chiefly instrumen- 
tal in defeating Hon. Mark H. Dunnell for Congress 
in the First District the year before. Dunnell was an 
active and vigorous political worker, with four years of 
Congressional experience and well versed in tactical poli- 
tics. His work, as the fight went on, foreshadowed Win- 
dom's overthrow. The result was the nomination of a 
"dark horse," the Hon. Dwight M. Sabin, an entirely 
new man, with but little legislative experience, but with 
a warm personal following. The shadow of an unfor- 
tunate business career darkened the political prospects of 
Sabin. Otherwise he was strong as a political organizer, 
possessed of a fine personality and agreeable manners, 
and was in every way an attractive man. After one 
term in the senate he was retired into private life, from 
which he never again emerged. 

William Windom was one of the noted political 
characters of the Hubbard period, though his political 
activities extended through many years. In the defeat 
here mentioned, he went to his overthrow, never again 
to receive the endorsement of his state. Over confident, 



268 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBAED. 

he had remained in Washington till victory slipped from 
his grasp. 

Windom lacked the grand talents and culture of 
Davis, the genial good-nature of Ramsey, and the practi- 
cal ability of a Pillsbury or a Hubbard. His greatest 
political asset was his unblemished personal character. 
He lived in that enchanted circle where political and 
personal morality dwell together. Even the nation at 
large was permeated with the conviction that Windom 
was an exceptionally pure man. A commanding pres- 
ence, a fair speaker, of great industry and clean life, 
these were his gifts. Minnesota may justly be proud 
to have William Windom in the roster of her public 
men. According to the best standard of official life, 
though not exempt from errors, he was a noble example 
of dignity and virtue, and possessed those talents and 
principles by which public life is made honorable. Two 
presidents manifested their faith in him, and he surely 
conferred high honor upon his state. Sit tibi terra lewis. 

Lucius P. Hubbard was governor of Minnesota dur- 
ing five years, from January 10, 1882, to January 5, 
1887. His opponent in 1883 'was Adolph Biermann, who 
received 58,251 votes, against Hubbard's 72,462. 

The second term of Hubbard's governorship ' was 
extended to three years, as were other state and county 
offices, in connection with the changes from annual to 
biennial sessions of the State Legislature, by a legisla- 
tive act and a constitutional amendment which made 



269 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

the biennial state elections coincide every fourth year 
with the national elections. 1 

The old Territorial Capitol, completed in 1853, had 
been destroyed by fire on the night of March 1st, 1881. 
The names from the burning had not yet ceased to il- 
luminate the locality, before the city of St. Paul, through 
its authorities, tendered to Governor Pillsbury the new 
Market Building, a large and commodious structure, for 
the use of the legislature and state officers. In this 
building, Governor Hubbard was inaugurated and exer- 
cised the functions of his office for about one year. But 
in January, 1883, the state offices, with the legislative 
body, were transferred to the new capitol, where he de- 
livered his first biennial message. 

This message, delivered January 4, 1883, is re- 
plete with an ample digest of the financial and general 
condition of state affairs. He especially invited atten- 
tion to the necessity of imposing restraints upon the 
management of railroads, urging this in such an impres- 
sive manner as secured legislative attention and action. 
The result was the important measure creating the rail- 
road commission as now existing. In response, also, 
to his recommendation, the present existing system of 
state grain inspection was organized. 

These measures were radical and far reaching in 
their operation and influence. They established upon a 
sound and enduring basis the true theory of the control 



1 See General Laws of the State of Minnesota, Twenty-third 
Session of the State Legislature, 1883, page 6. 

270 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

of those two vital interests of the state, the railways and 
the safe method of marketing grain. The system, as 
then established, has been modified and amended as ex- 
perience has suggested, but the principles then put in 
operation are permanent. If nothing else marked Gov- 
ernor Hubbard's administration, these measures alone 
would give lasting value to his public service. With 
these was associated state inspection of dairy products, 
under the guiding and inspiring influence of which the 
state has forged to the very front of the world's produc- 
tion of butter. Minnesota can now say in the words of 
Ford, the old English poet: 

"I know what's what; I know on which side 
My bread is buttered." 

To his recommendation we are also largely indebted 
for the present system of sanitary organization for the 
protection of the public health; for the establishment of 
the State Agricultural Society on its present prosperous 
basis, for its location on the present grounds, and the 
appropriation of the first $100,000 for its use; for the 
establishment of the State School at Owatonna, the idea 
of which originated with him; for the organization of 
the state national guard; and for the beneficent change 
from annual to biennial elections. He inspired a re- 
duction in the tax levies, while the public debt was 
materially decreased. These practical measures, though 
unattractive to the public eye, illustrate the value of a 
safe, prudent, capable administrator, as Governor Hub- 
bard always demonstrated he was. 

271 



GOVERNOR^ OF MINNESOTA. 

His urgent recommendation was chiefly instrumen- 
tal in securing the Soldiers' Home, for disabled and in- 
digent veterans of the Civil War, of which he is at this 
writing one of the trustees. It stands at Minnehaha 
Falls, as a monument to the honor and patriotism of 
Minnesota. 

He was ever the faithful friend of that invaluable 
institution, the Minnesota Historical Society, established 
by Ramsey and Sibley, whose interests have been cher- 
ished and promoted by every governor the state has had. 

January 5, 1887, Governor Hubbard retired from 
the gubernatorial office with the cordial good wishes of 
the people of the state without distinction of party. As 
a testimonial of his high standing and excellent work 
as governor and his stainless record as a public man, 
a noble and prosperous county was named for him 
Hubbard County, which will perpetuate his good name 
through the coming years. 

Governor Hubbard is a member of Acker Post, G. 
A. R., the Minnesota Commandery of the Loyal Legion, 
the Minnesota Society of the Sons of the American 
Revolution, the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, the 
Military Order of Foreign Wars, the Society of Ameri- 
can Wars, and the Red Wing Commandery of Royal 
Arch Masons. He was a member for Minnesota of the 
Republican National Committee in the campaign of 
1896. 

During the Spanish War his high character as a 
military officer was duly recognized by President Mc- 

272 



LUCIUS FBEDEBICK HUBBAED. 

Kinley, and on June 6, 1898, he was appointed a briga- 
dier general, and served throughout that war in com- 
mand of the Third Division, Seventh Army Corps. 

In 1889 he was appointed by the legislature of the 
state on a commission to compile and publish a history 
of the Minnesota military organizations in the Civil and 
Indian wars, a most valuable record in two large vol- 
umes. 

As the administration at Washington had enter- 
tained the idea of recognizing, in some important way, 
the fitness and just claims of Governor Hubbard for 
federal honors and service, he, at the instance of strong 
friends, became in 1897 a candidate for the position of 
Ambassador to Italy. The justice of his claim was 
promptly and warmly recognized by our senators and 
members of Congress. Archbishop Ireland, among oth- 
ers, was his strong and active friend. It seemed that 
he was quite sure of success, when suddenly a change 
came from favorable to adverse conditions. This occas- 
ioned much surprise among his many friends. The 
facts in the ease were gradually developed by correspond 
dence and statements involving many noted public men. 
The allegations made were intended to cast a shade upon 
the business integrity of Governor Hubbard. They came 
from a noted intermeddler in state and national poli- 
tics, who was a member of a political party not in sym- 
pathy with Governor Hubbard, and who has too often 
sought to dominate political interests and party poli- 
tics, and to crush those not comformable to his will. 
18 273 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

In vindication of his personal integrity, the Gov- 
ernor presented to the President an array of testimony 
which was overwhelming in its character, and which left 
him without stain or censure. These vindicatory docu- 
ments are all now in the possession of the writer, and 
are so complete as to command admiration. But strange- 
ly enough, and with retributive justice, the prosecution 
of the Governor's vindication brought to light one of 
the most atrocious efforts at bribery and corruption, on 
the part of the very accusant of Governor Hubbard, of 
which we have any knowledge in the history of our state, 
and the utter failure of which doubtless inspired, in the 
spirit of revenge, the attack upon his spotless character. 
The vindication, however, came too late, for the appoint- 
ment was made pending this affair; but Governor Hub- 
bard's character was maintained inviolate, receiving a 
notable endorsement by the national administration it- 
self in his appointment sis brigadier general of Volun- 
teers by President McKinley in 1898. 

As relating to this subject, it is proper and credit- 
able to mention the fact that in 1884 large corporations 
with which the Governor had previously had business 
connections became involved and assigned. He had, 
prior to his inauguration as governor, severed his official 
connection with these companies, and was neither an 
officer nor director. He was, however, unfortunately 
an endorser of their paper, which at times was floated 
to a large amount. To meet this catastrophe, for which 
be was in no wise responsible and for much of which 

274 



LUCIUS FEEDEEICK HUBBAED. 

he was without legal liability, he surrendered his entire 
fortune and also the property of his wife, to such an 
extent that not a single personal creditor lost a dollar 
by him, and every obligation for which he became re- 
sponsible, of whatever nature, was, in the end, settled 
and discharged on an honorable basis, and he enjoys the 
proud satisfaction of leaving an unsullied heritage to 
his children. 

In 1896 Governor Hubbard was elected a delegate 
to the National Eepublican convention at St. Louis, at 
which William McKinley was first nominated for presi- 
dent; and Hubbard was named by that convention as a 
member of the Eepublican National Committee for Min- 
nesota. That was the notable year in which sound 
money as against free silver was the battle cry, and in 
which memorable contest William Jennings Bryan went 
down to defeat To this campaign Governor Hubbard 
gave much time and attention, and was intimately asso- 
ciated with Hon. Marcus A. Hanna, chairman of the 
National Eepublican Committee, in the conduct of the 
same. 

During the next year, 1897, Cushman K. Davis be- 
gan to assert his power in national politics at Washing- 
ton. His ability and culture were fully recognized, and 
Minnesota took pride in her senator. 

It was during Governor Hubbard's second term that 
the Hon. S. J. E. McMillan was elected to the United 
States Senate for a second term. He was originally 
elected to that office in 1875 as a compromise candi- 

275 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

date, a "dark horse/' and was taken from the supreme 
bench for that purpose. He was in no sense a politi- 
cian, and, though an upright and conscientious man, he 
did not rank as a statesman. He had an honorable ca- 
reer, was a good jurist, but was never in any sense a 
strong man as a politician. 

Other than those referred to, there were few and un- 
important political events transpiring during the period 
of Governor Hubbard's administration. The Republican 
party was firm in its hold of political power. There 
was, however, one sharp contest in the Fourth Congres- 
sional District for congressional honors in 1884. The 
Hon.*W. D. Washburn had been in Congress for three 
terms from the Minneapolis district, and now other as- 
pirants presented themselves. The Hon. Loren Fletcher, 
of Minneapolis, and the Hon. Albert Scheffer, of St. 
Paul, appeared in the arena. The old contest between 
St. Paul and Minneapolis was distinctly manifest. It 
developed quite a notable battle, with the usual results 
in such cases. A compromise candidate was sprung at 
an opportune moment, and the Hon. John B. Gilfillan, 
of Minneapolis," was nominated and elected. But this 
contest was so sharp, so well fought, that it riveted the 
eyes of the whole state and was regarded as a shrewd 
piece of political work. 

Few men have retired from the position of governor 
who were held in as high regard and esteem by the 
people of the state as Governor Hubbard. His practi- 
cal good sense, the important measures he proposed and 
276 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

achieved^ the steadiness and cleanness of his administra- 
tion, his open and manly nature, all conspire to give 
him an elevated place in the affections and memory of 
the people of Minnesota. He removed from Red Wing 
to St. Paul in 1901, where he now resides, happy in his 
intercourse with his numerous friends, serving on boards 
and commissions of an important public character, and 
cheerfully performing the duties ever devolving upon 
a good citizen. His honorable and useful life, both in 
war and peace, brings him that reward which is better 
than a ducal coronet, and crowns him with a laurel 
which will not wither. 

Governor Hubbard was married in Red Wing, May 
17, 1868, to Miss Amelia Thomas, daughter of Charles 
and Amelia Thomas. The Thomas family were lineal 
descendants of Sir John Moore. Of this union three 
children were born: Charles F., in 1869; Julia M., in 
1871, now. Mrs. Charles H. McGill; and Lucius V., in 
1873. The children, at this writing, are all living. 



The first biennial message of Governor Hubbard to 
the legislature, January 4, 1883, was published in 36 
pages as a pamphlet and as the first paper in the Execu- 
tive Documents of Minnesota for 1882 (Minneapolis, 
1883). The loss of the first capitol by fire in 1881, 
and the building of a new capitol, then occupied by the 
state officers and the legislature, are the subjects of the 
first four pages of this message. Among other subjects 

277 



GOVEENORS OF MINNESOTA. 

that receive lengthy consideration are the railroads and 
needed legislation for reducing and equalizing their 
freight rates, on which the governor wrote in part as 
follows. 

* * * While we recognize the fact that these corpora- 
tions confer great benefit upon the country, that they are 
mighty in their influence for the spread and development of 
our civilization, and should receive the cordial support of pub- 
lic sympathy in the exercise of their reasonable and legitimate 
functions, yet they should on their part feel that they are the 
servants and not the masters of the public; that, like the 
citizen, they are amenable to laws whose majesty at once 
affords them protection and commands them to respect its 
restraints. They should be reminded that they are creatures 
of the authority of the State; that it has endowed them with 
valuable franchises and enormous subsidies, and that it affords 
them that protection and enjoyment of possession which gives 
to all property its greatest value. They should be impressed 
with the fact that their legitimate resources are wholly derived 
from the patronage of the public, and that their proper and 
legal relation to the public can only be maintained by dis- 
pensing exact justice to every individual and locality with 
which they have to deal. 

That the State has power to exercise control, within rea- 
sonable limits, over these corporations, is a principle long 
since established, and that it has not exercised such control 
to a greater degree is due to the patience and forbearance of 
the public. * * * 

Governor Hubbard^s second biennial message, Jan- 
uary 7, 1885, formed a pamphlet of 44 pages, published 
also as the first paper in the Executive Documents for 
1884. State inspection of grain, for its grading in a 
scale of prices, legislation on the management of eleva- 
tors and warehouses, and state regulation of railroad 
freight rates and train service, are again recommended to 
the attention of the legislature. Concerning needed re- 
forms of railroad transportation, the message said: 

* * * The duty of the railroad companies as common 
carriers is to transport for all alike, with reasonable dispatch 

278 



LUCIUS FREDERICK HUBBARD. 

\nd at reasonable rates. What are reasonable rates and rea- 
sonable dispatch depends on the circumstances of the case, but 
the obligation to carry for all alike is absolute under all cir- 
cumstances. No increased dispatch, no reduced rate to some, 
will justify any practice which works discrimination, or a 
restriction of his free right, to any. 

The people look to you to adopt laws which shall interdict 
and terminate all these practices. The details of the legisla- 
tion which will accomplish it, will be yours to elaborate. It 
is my duty to recommend that you aim to secure, at every 
station, an open and unrestricted market, the right of ship- 
ment for any and all, without partiality or preference, and 
transportation for all without discrimination at equal and rea- 
sonable rates, to any desired destination. 



* * * 



The third and last biennial message by Hubbard 
to the legislature, delivered January 5, 1887, at the end 
of his administration as governor, was published as a 
pamphlet of 40 pages and as the first paper in the 
Executive Documents for 1886-7. In reviewing that 
period and its legislation, he said: 

During the five years it has been my privilege to occupy 
the executive office Minnesota has experienced a development 
unprecedented in her history, and hardly equaled by that of 
any other community of the country for a like period of time. 
Her growth in population has been nearly 60 per cent, and 
her assessed real and personal estate has increased from 
$271,158,961, in 1881, to $458,424,777, in 1886. The industries 
and business interests of her people have kept pace in their 
development with this growth in population and wealth, and 
the foundations have been broadened and strengthened for 
that greatness of empire which is the abundant promise of 
our future destiny. * * * 



Probably the most important measures of reform, more 
far reaching in their future influence for relief to the people 
than any that have been instituted in recent years, are those 
which constitute our present policy respecting the control and 
regulation of railway corporations. The legislation of 1885 
upon this subject, and also that respecting state supervision 
of warehouses and the inspection of grain, was hailed by the 
people of the State at large as the dawn of their deliverance 

279 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

from monopolistic exactions and oppression. I believe the 
reasonable expectations of the people have not been disap- 
pointed in the result thus far in the administration of this 
new policy. Recognizing it as the agency through which their 
ultimate emancipation will be worked out, they patiently 
await such action at your hands as shall make it fully and 
completely effective to that end. 

An article on "The Progress of Minnesota" was 
contributed by Governor Hubbard in the North Ameri- 
can Beview, January, 1887 (Volume CXLIV, pages 22-28). 

By an act of the Legislature, April 16, 1889, 
Governor (and General) Hubbard was appointed a mem- 
ber of a board of commissioners for preparing and pub- 
lishing a history entitled "Minnesota in the Civil and 
Indian Wars, 1861-1865." In this work of two vol- 
umes he contributed the "Narrative of the Fifth Begi- 
ment," forming pages 243-281, and followed by the ros- 
ter of this regiment in pages 282-299, of Volume I 
(St. Paul, 1890, and second edition, 1891). 

Other papers by General Hubbard relating to the 
Civil War are the following: 

The Bed Eiver Expedition, read November 7, 1888, 
before the Minnesota Commandery of the Military Or- 
der of the Loyal Legion of the United States, pub- 
lished in its "Glimpses of the Nation's Struggle," sec- 
ond series, pages 267-279 (St. Paul, 1890). 

Five papers, entitled as follows, read at meetings 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, January, 1907, to 
February, 1908, to be in Volume XII of its Collections: 

Minnesota in the Battles of Corinth, Mississippi, 
May to October, 1862. 
280 



LUCIUS FEEDEEICK HUBBAED. 

Minnesota in the Campaigns of Vickburg, Novem- 
ber, 1862, to July, 1863. 

Minnesota in the Eed River Expedition, Louisiana, 
and the Price Missouri Eaid, 1864. 

Minnesota in the Battles of Nashville, December 
15 and 16, 1864. 

Minnesota in the Campaign of Mobile, March and 
April, 1865. 

The first of these five papers was published separa- 
tely in a pamphlet of 29 pages, 1907, including re- 
marks by Archbishop Ireland and Gen. M. D. Mower. 

The second paper, on the Vicksburg campaigns, was 
also published as a part of a pamphlet of 64 pages 
1907. Ensuing parts of this pamphlet comprise the 
Eeport of the Minnesota Vicksburg Monument Com- 
mission, consisting of General Hubbard, General C. C. 
Andrews, and Major T. P. Wilson; the addresses given 
at the dedication of the Minnesota Memorials in the 
Vicksburg National Military Park, May 24, 1907, by 
General Hubbard, Governor Johnson of Minnesota, and 
Governor Vardaman of Mississippi; and acts of the 
Minnesota Legislature and of the United States Con- 
gress, relating to this military park. 

Additional papers by Hubbard in the Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections are: 

Memorial Address in honor of Governor Eamsey 
(Volume X, 1905, pages 748-750). 

Early Days in Goodhue County (Volume XII, 1908, 
pages 149-166). 

281 




ANDREW R. McGILL. 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL 

Tenth Governor of the State of Minne- 
sota, was born in Saegerstown, Pennsyl- 
vania, February 19, 1840, and died in 
St. Paul, October 31, 1905. He was 
Insurance Commissioner of the State 
from 1873 to 1887, and a state senator 
from 1899 to 1905. He was governor 
of Minnesota from January 5, 1887, to 
January 9, 1889. 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL 

TENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 5, 1887, to January 9, 1889 



WITHIN one week of each other, two unique per- 
sonalities departed to the impenetrable beyond, — 
Governors Andrew McGill and Horace Austin. They 
were the Damon and Pythias of our executives, the 
Gemini of the gubernatorial constellation. Their de- 
parture from this life, so nearly together, recalls the 
fact that Adams and Jefferson died upon the same day. 
All their lives they were the most intimate friends. 
Each had his rise and development in the same city of 
St. Peter, a city famous for its governors. It has al- 
ready furnished the state four executives, Swift, Austin^ 
McGill, and Johnson. If Virginia was the mother of 
presidents, surely St. Peter is the prolific mother of 
governors. 

But really there was something dramatic in the lives 
of these two governors. Their unexpected departure to 
the "pale realms of shade/' so nearly at the same time, 
recalls facts in their history, showing how they had 
traveled life's dusty paths together, in sympathy and 
cooperation. 

285 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

When Governor McGill was buried, Governor Austin 
was one oi the honorary pall bearers, and was the very 
last person to remain at the grave, looking where lay his 
old-time friend; and on the same day only one week 
later, was himself consigned to mother earth. 

As they respected and honored each other, so the 
writer respects and honors both. 

Andrew Ryan McGill was born in Saegerstown, 
Crawford county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1840. 
He was of Irish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, 
Patrick McGill, came from near Belfast, Ireland, to the 
United States in 1774, when twelve years of age. Both 
the grandfather and an older brother served in the army 
of the Revolution. After the war, the brothers settled 
in Pennsylvania in Northumberland county. But in a 
few years the entire family emigrated to the western 
part of the state, where Patrick McGill secured a large 
tract of land in what is now called Crawford county. 
This land became the "Old Homestead" of the McGill 
family, and here children and grandchildren were born. 
Charles Dillon McGill was the youngest son, and the 
father of Andrew, the future governor. 

The mother of Andrew was Angeline Martin. She 
came from Waterford, Pennsylvania. Her father's 
name was Armand Martin, and he had been a soldier 
in the war of 1812. Her grandfather, Charles Martin, 
of English birth, served in the Revolutionary War, and 
was honored after the struggle with an appointment by 
George Washington as a lieutenant in the Second United 

286 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL. 

States Infantry. This position he resigned, and was ap- 
pointed a major general in the state troops of Pennsyl- 
vania, a position of much importance at that time. An- 
drew McGilFs mother appears to have been not only an 
exemplary woman, but a person of strong character and 
a thorough Christian, and withal a handsome woman. 
Her family were all Methodists, and she was a devout 
member of that church till her death. She inculcated 
lessens of duty and morality which bore their impress 
during life, though she died when Andrew was but eight 
years of age. 

Andrew was reared in what was known as the Ven- 
ango Valley, a beautiful and picturesque region on the 
banks of French creek, a stream made historic because 
of its having formed part of the route taken by Wash- 
ington in 1753, when acting as a messenger from Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddie of Virginia to the French commandant 
at Fort Le Boeuf. There were good schools in his na- 
tive town, and he was a good scholar. At the early age 
of nineteen, in 1859, he assumed control of his own 
course in life and determined to strike out in the world 
for himself, notwithstanding inducements made to him 
by his father to remain at home on the farm. His first 
effort for himself was in teaching school not far from 
his home. Then, like Governor Swift, he turned his 
footsteps to the South, and going to Kentucky he also 
there engaged in teaching school, for which pursuit he 
was well qualified. He met with good success, but in a 
short period the Civil War occurred, and his pronounced 

287 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Union sentiments made his abode unpleasant, and on 
the actual beginning of hostilities he turned to the North. 
Fortunately directed by an old f riend, he came to Min- 
nesota and settled in St. Peter, June 10, 1861. 

The trip having exhausted his funds, he again, 
within a month, resorted to the schoolroom. Through his 
active energy he opened a select High School July 7, 
1861, which he conducted as principal with ability, and 
many citizens of Minnesota today recount that their 
early education was under his instruction. 

Something of the coming man is indicated in a 
letter which he wrote home to his oldest sister about this 
time (July 14, 1862) : "My aspirations are to go up 
higher, and I presume I shall spend a lifetime in trying 
to improve my mind. I am studying law and pursuing 
other studies of importance." 

But the tocsin of war roused his patriotic heart, 
and we find him leaving the school room and enlisting 
as a private in Captain Asgrim K. Skaro's Company D 
of the Ninth Minnesota regiment, August 19, 1862, at 
the age of twenty-two. He was elected first sergeant. 
His service was on the frontier against the Sioux In- 
dians in their memorable outbreak. He was afterward 
posted at St. Peter, and was present as a guard at the 
hanging of the condemned Sioux at Mankato, December 
26, 1862, where the writer, who was in command at tha£ 
most extraordinary execution, first knew young McG-ill. 
He served with fidelity for one year, and was discharged 
for serious disability August 18, 1863. This was none 

288 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL 

too soon, for only nursing and care during weeks and 
months brought him back to health, but not to a degree 
to make it advisable for him to re-enlist, which was to 
him then and afterwards a great regret. 

In this connection, it may be added that eleven of 
Minnesota's governors, rendered service in the Union 
army during the Civil War, or during the Sioux Indian 
War in this st'ate, these being Gorman, Sibley, Swift, 
Miller, Marshall, Austin, Davis, Hubbard, McGill, Nel- 
son, and Van Sant. 

Returning to his home in St. Peter, McGill was 
elected as superintendent of schools for Nicollet county, 
in which capacity he served two terms. This signalized 
his advent into public life. Subsequently, in 18G4, he 
purchased the St. Peter Tribune, of which he became 
the editor. Following this, he was elected clerk of the 
District Court, and during the occupancy of this office 
lie availed himself of much leisure to study law in the 
office of Charles S. Bryant. He was admitted to the 
bar May 8, 1869, by Judge Horace Austin. 

One year later, Judge Austin became governor of 
the state, and he appointed McGill as his private secre- 
tary. In December, 1873, shortly before the expiration of 
Tiis term of office, Governor Austin appointed him In- 
surance Commissioner. In later years, when, in the 
shifting scenes, McGill became governor, he had the 
pleasure of reciprocating this appointment by naming 
ex-Governor Austin as one of the Railroad Commis- 
sioners. 
10 289 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

Mr. McGill held the office of Insurance Commis- 
sioner for thirteen years, having been reappointed suc- 
cessively by Governors Davis, Pillsbury, and Hubbard. 
His work in this office was valuable to the state, and 
through his wide information he became a recognized 
authority on all insurance matters. 

He had now truly become a public man and pos- 
sessed a general acquaintance throughout the state. 
Quiet, unostentatious and dignified in character, he pos- 
sessed those personal and public virtues which gave him 
a large and intelligent following. In 1886 his friends 
announced him as a candidate for the Eepublican nom- 
ination for governor. The convention met at St. Paul 
September 22. His competitors were Charles A. Gil- 
man, of St, Cloud, John L. Gibbs, of Albert Lea, and 
Albert Scheffer, of St. Paul. They were men of ability, 
with many friends. 

Singularly, there were no nominating speeches made 
by the convention, and they proceeded to ballot, no can- 
didate being named. On the fifth ballot McGill was- 
duly nominated, receiving 190 out of 361 votes. 

McGilFs Democratic opponent was Dr. Albert A. 
Ames, of Minneapolis, a man who at that time possessed, 
a remarkable popularity, especially with the laboring 
classes. The canvass of 1886 was vigorous and exciting- 
and was unlike that of any campaign conducted in the* 
state before or since that time. A High License bill had 
been before the legislature of 1885, with every prospect 
of becoming a law, but was finally defeated through the 

290 



ANDEEWEYAN McGILL. 

organized efforts of the liquor interests. The Eepubli- 
can party had in consequence declared in its platform at 
the convention September 22, 1886, for high license and 
local option, thus concentrating the liquor interests in a 
solid phalanx against it; and those representing these in- 
terests arrayed themselves with the Democratic party, 
with Ames as their leader. 

The Prohibitionists, whose candidate f<3r governor 
was James E. Child, of Waseca, practically and politi- 
cally gave aid to the Democrats by polling a vote of 
9,030, because they could not consistently "compromise 
with evil" by voting with the Eepublicans for the better 
regulation of the liquor traffic. The fight in the cam- 
paign was for and against high license, — all other ques- 
tions were secondary. The excitement became intense. 
Ames conducted a notable and aggressive warfare, and 
the result appeared in much doubt. A riot in Minne- 
apolis the night preceding the election, which it was 
claimed had been instigated by Democrats, is said to 
have cost Ames so many votes that it lost him the elec- 
tion. McGill received 107,064 votes, and Ames 104,464, 
making McGill's plurality over Ames only 2,600. Count- 
ing also the Prohibition vote, he lacked 3,216 from a 
majority of all the votes cast, and thus became a min- 
ority governor. 

But under all the circumstances McGilFs election 
must be regarded as a triumph for the high stand taken 
by the Eepublican party in that campaign, no less than 
for the man himself who so thoroughly possessed "the 

291 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

courage of his convictions/' and so gallantly advocated 
the principles of his party which he defended to the 
end. The lofty character and manly deportment of 
McGill throughout this bitter campaign is worthy of all 
praise. 

Andrew E. McGill was inaugurated as governor 
January 5, 1887. A careful examination of his in- 
augural address and the regular biennial address Jan- 
uary 9, 1889, exhibits the character and purpose of 
the man in an exalted light. With unfaltering resolu- 
tion he intelligently maintained his principles. The re- 
cord shows great accomplishments. 

The High License fight was resumed in the legis- 
lature of 1887. There "were visible signs of weakening 
on the part of members who had been elected on that 
issue. The liquor interests, with their forces well or- 
ganized, lobbied in season and out of season on the floor 
of both houses, and were ready to expend any amount 
of money to block legislation against the measure. Mass 
meetings were held in both St. Paul and Minneapolis to 
express in no uncertain terms the sentiments of the peo- 
ple that the demand for High License must prevail. 
Governor McGill did the very unusual thing of presiding 
at the St. Paul meeting, and was untiring in his efforts 
to stimulate his party to redeem their pledge. No ques- 
tion was ever more hotly contested, and on the days set 
for its consideration people thronged to the Capitol. 
Finally, after several struggles and amidst great excite- 
ment, the High License bill passed the Senate February 

292 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL. 

4, 1887, and the House five days later, and immediately 
received the Governor's signature. This law was subse- 
quently the model for similar bills in other states, and 
the point of view so changed that soon those who had 
been its bitterest enemies became its ardent supporters. 
This law remains unchanged upon our statute books to- 
day. 

Governor McGilPs administration was characterized 
by faithful and meritorious work in many other N direc- 
tions. He urged the simplification of the tax laws, the 
abolishment of contract prison labor, and the establish- 
ment of that noble institution, the Soldier's Home. 
These all stand to his favor and credit. The wisdom of 
these measures is more and more apparent as time ad- 
vances, and their repeal has never been attempted. He 
advocated greater supervision of railroads as to freight 
and passenger rates, and was the first governor to re- 
commend the abolishing of the issuance of free passes. 

His friends may well be proud of his fearless and 
manly record, and the judgment of posterity will crown 
his name with honor. No odor of jobbery, no fumes 
of the political pit, rise against him; no private or pub- 
lic scandal ever raised a whisper against his good name. 

The convention for the nomination of Governor 
McGilFs successor was held September 5 and 6, 
1888. It is quite impossible, at this distance of time, 
to fully comprehend just why Governor McGill, with his 
unexceptional record, was not entitled to the opera- 
tion of that unwritten law of party usage, a renomina- 

293 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

tion. Surely he had made good in every way as gov- 
ernor. His friends could point with pride to his clean 
and satisfactory administration, and to his spotless per- 
sonal character. 

It was urged by those opposed that he was not 
popular with the people; that he had failed to receive 
a majority of the votes cast at his election; that with his 
avowed position on the temperance question he was no 
longer available. These subterfuges, used by designing 
and ambitious men who could not wait two years longer 
for their opportunity, were loudly paraded to the public 
and had their effect. 

Chief among those who entered the field against 
McGill was William R. Merriam, who had been. speaker 
of the House of Representatives in 1887, and was presi- 
dent of a bank. An eager desire for preferment was the 
besetting political sin of Mr. Merriam. Young in years, 
he could have bided his time with becoming patience. 

Charles A. Gilman, of St. Cloud, John L. Gibbs, 
of Albert Lea, and Albert Scheffer, of St. Paul, were 
also pitted against McGill. They were men of ability, 
and each had many friends. McGill had done no wrong ; 
there w T ere no charges of errors of administration; but 
lie was to be unseated because the competitors could not 
wait their turn for the gubernatorial mantle. 

A platform of principles preceded the nomination. 

It endorsed the administration of Governor McGill in 

complimentary terms, saying, "The Republican party 

points with pride to the pure and clean administration 

294 



ANDBEW BY AN McGILL. 

of Governor McGill and to the measures he commended." 
The convention, having thus cordially endorsed Gov- 
ernor McGill, proceeded to stultify itself by rejecting 
his unqualified right, under all party usages, and by 
every sense of personal justice, to a renomination. It 
is not too much to characterize the action of the conven- 
tion as the most flagrant piece of wrong ever perpe- 
trated by a political party in the state of Minnesota. It 
was simply a transcendent injustice, which had its basis 
in the corruption of delegates, if we credit the news- 
papers of the day. 1 

To this sentiment was given further expression on 
March 15, 1907, during the eulogistic addresses to his 
memory in the Senate Chamber, when Senator L. 0. 
Thorpe, of Willmar, said: "Parties, like men, have their 
sins of omission and commission to account for, and 
one of the dark spots on the Bepublican party in this 
state was the treatment of Governor McGill. * * * 
Although for the time being apparently discredited by 
his party, he became more popular and has ever since 
been held in higher esteem than ever before." Not- 
withstanding that he had been set aside in respect 
to renomination by his party, he remained its earnest 
and loyal supporter and resumed his wonted place 
in the ranks of citizenship, conscious that he had served 
his party faithfully and was willing to be judged by 



1 See the St. Paul Dispatch of that period, and scores of 
other journals. 



295 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

the record he had made, Many subsequent rewards came 
to him by reason of his dignified and manly course. 

On his retirement from the executive chair, Gov- 
ernor McGill, for a short time, engaged in a banking 
and trust business. 

In 1898, and again in 1902, he was elected state 
senator for the Thirty-seventh Senatorial District. His 
legislative career was marked by a close application to 
duty and a conscientious exercise of his senatorial prero- 
gatives. He, was the pronounced enemy of all vicious 
legislation and the friend of all needful reforms. He was 
the spokesman of the old soldier on the floor of the 
senate. It was chiefly through his influence that the 
noble monument was erected to the Minnesota soldiers 
who fell at Vicksburg. 

He participated influentially in the movement to 
organize Acker Post, No. 21, G. A. E,, and always took 
an active interest in all its proceedings. He was, on the 
recommendation of the Hon. C. K. Davis, appointed 
postmaster of St. Paul by President McKinley in 1900. 
He thus occupied, by a suspension of the presidential 
rule, the dual offices of state senator and postmaster. 
He took a profound interest in the public schools, and 
had served as president of the St. Paul Board of Edu- 
cation. 

Governor McGill was justly esteemed as a citizen 
and a man. His affections bound him to his country 
and to his friends and family. Always kind and consid- 
erate of friend or foe, with a personal deportment be- 
296 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL. 

yond the reach of criticism, his constant civilities won 
upon all. Anger and resentment were unknown to him 
in his conduct of life. He was always, and at all times, 
and above all, a gentleman. He was truly the gentle- 
man in politics. Modest by nature, he was truly in- 
different to publicity and notoriety. Above all, he pos- 
sessed a spotless character; and character, like gold coin, 
passes current among all men and in all countries. His 
private life was pure and sweet, and his friendship a 
benediction. 

The deaths of Andrew Ryan McGill and Horace 
Austin, in immediate proximity, with the story of their 
mutual devotion, were indeed dramatic. Death closes all 
questions and hides all faults; but it is probable that 
these two friends had as little to cover and conceal as 
any two public men in the state. Their unexpected de- 
parture, the quick severance of all earthly ties, the sud- 
den "loosing of the silver cord," while cruel for friend? 
to bear, I fully believe was in complete accord with the 
personal desire of each. 

Governor McGill was twice married- His first wife 
was Miss Eliza E. Bryant, daughter of Charles S. Bry- 
ant, a lawyer and an author of considerable repute, who 
wrote the "Indian Massacre in Minnesota," a history of 
the Sioux War of 1862, which is a valuable work. She 
was an excellent woman, wife, and mother. She died in 
1877. She was survived by two sons and one daughter, 
as follows: Charles H., born in 1866; Robert C, born 
in 1869; and Lida B., born in 1874. 

297 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

He was again married in 1879 to Miss Mary E. 
Wilson, a most estimable, accomplished, and highly edu- 
cated lady. She was a daughter of Dr. J. C. Wilson, a 
prominent physician of Edinborough, Pa. To this happy 
union survive two sons, Wilson, born in 1884, and 
Thomas, born in 1889. 

Governor McGill died suddenly on the morning of 
October 31, 1905, at his residence, 2203 Scudder 
Avenue, St. Anthony Park, with scarcely a premonition 
of his end. An affection of the heart, with which he 
had suffered for years, was the cause of his death. His 
wish that he might be at home when the end came was 
gratified. 

By order of the governor of the state, the flags on 
both the old and new eapitols were dropped at half-mast, 
and the governor's office was appropriately draped in 
black. His funeral rites were very simple, in strict ac- 
cordance with his own often expressed wish. There were 
no public services, and the Eev. Samuel G. Smith, pastor 
of the People's Church, officiated at the family residence. 
Four men who have been governors of Minnesota were 
among the honorary pall bearers, namely, Horace Aus- 
tin, L. F. Hubbard, S. E. Yan Sant, and John A. John- 
son. Members of Acker Post, G. A. E., attended in a 
body, as did also the postoffiee employees. The inter- 
ment was at Oakland Cemetery. 

Thus passed into the silence of the dead one of 
Minnesota's most honored and loyal sons, suddenly cut 
down in the midst of a useful and noble life. 

298 



ANDREW RYAN McGILL. 

The inaugural address of Governor McGill to the 
legislature, January 5, 1887, was published as a paniph-r 
let of 22 pages, and also as pages 41-62 of the Executive 
Documents of Minnesota for 1886 (St. Paul, 1887). 
In this message the subject of the liquor traffic received 
considerable attention, as follows: 

You will be called upon at this session to consider meas- 
ures looking to the further regulation of the liquor business 
in this State. The people have pronounced in favor of "high 
license, local option, and the rigid enforcement of the laws re- 
lating to the liquor traffic," and now turn to you in the hope 
and expectation that you will in the form of suitable legisla- 
tion, give effect to the verdict which they found. Outside of 
the limited number engaged in the liquor traffic in this State, 
the people, by a very large majority and without regard to 
political parties favor the measures proposed. I can see no 
reason why the desired legislation should not be promptly en- 
acted. It is undoubtedly true that while the question of 
liigh license does not properly relate to party politics, it is 
one of intense interest to the liquor vendors of the State, and 
in our cities and large towns has become the predominant is- 
sue at every election. The liquor interests are organized as a 
compact power for the avowed purpose of combatting all ef- 
forts looking to the further regulation of the liquor traffic. 
The effect of such an organization in such a case cannot be 
otherwise than harmful. All questions are made secondary 
to that of high license, and every man who stands for office— 
and more particularly a legislative office — is required to pledge 
Mmsclf against it, or stand the brunt of their united opposi- 
tion, in many cases meaning utter defeat from the outset. In 
all candor I submit to you if this is not a pernicious influence 
on the legislation of the State. Two years ago a high license 
bill was before the legislature, with every prospect of be- 
coming a law, but was finally defeated through the organized 
efforts of the liquor interests. This organization is much 
stronger today than it was then, and will no doubt oppose 
with zeal worthy of a better cause the measures proposed. 
But I trust this legislature, elected on the issue of "high 
license and local option," is also stronger on this subject than 
its predecessor, and that it has the courage and independence 
to refuse to be bound and controlled by the liquor dealers. 
I have no word to utter against these men — I am willing to 
concede that many of them regard the proposed measures as 
an infringement on their personal rights and liberty, but in 
the name of that great body of our citizens who believe in 

299 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

sobriety, in law and order, and who recognize and deplore 
the evils traceable to the liquor traffic, I protest against that 
interest being permitted to dominate the legislation of the 
State. It is not only your province but your duty to elim- 
inate as far as practicable these evils. It is believed that high 
license and local option will minimize them. Sharing "in this 
belief, and desiring to keep faith with the people, I recom- 
mend the enactment of suitable and efficient legislation to 
carry the proposed measures into effect. 

McGill served as governor only one term, and there- 
fore presented only one biennial message, which was de- 
livered January 9, 1889, and was published as a pamph- 
let of 40 pages, and also as the first paper in Volume I 
of the Executive Documents of Minnesota for 1888 (St. 
Paul, 1889). He recommended the creation of a Par- 
doning Board as follows: 

One of the most exacting of the many duties pertaining 
to the chief executive office in this state is that- growing out 
of the pardoning power conferred upon the governor by the 
constitution. That power is complete. He can pardon and 
turn loose every prisoner in the state if he so wills, and is 
responsible only to the people of the state for his acts. The 
wisdom of centering in one person this important prerogative 
is questioned by many, and by a limited number it is thought 
the pardoning power should not exist at all. My own judg- 
ment is that it should exist, and that its proper lodgment- 
is with the chief executive officer of the state. But I am con- 
vinced from a brief experience in its exercise that in justice 
both to the governor and the applicant for pardon an advisory 
board of pardons should be created and established by law, 
to whom all applications for pardon should be referred, and 
whose duty it should be after due investigation and consid- 
eration to pass upon the merits of each application and re- 
port their findings and recommendations to the governor for 
his use and guidance. The applications for pardon in this state 
are already so numerous, and the duties of the governor so 
exacting in other directions, that he cannot find the time nec- 
essary to give them the careful and patient investigation de- 
manded by the merest considerations of justice. In common 
fairness to the prisoner, at any rate, this should be done. 
And to the end that the governor may be relieved as fully as 
possible from responsibility in exercising the pardoning power, 
the board should be entirely free, both in its creation and 

300 



ANDEEW EYAN McGILL. 

tenure of office, from obligations or responsibilities to Mm. 
If duly authorized so to do, the chief justice of the supreme 
court might very appropriately name the members to con- 
stitute the board from persons nominated for the positions by 
the judges of the district courts. It is important that this 
board, if created, shall be as independent of political influence 
as possible, and semi -judicial in character. I do not think any 
state or judicial officer, or any officer connected with any of 
the prisons of the state, should be eligible to appointment on 
it. The freer it can be made from political, partisan or out- 
side official influences the better, in my judgment. But these 
are matters of detail which I shall not discuss. The main 
thing is the creation of the board, and this I earnestly recom- 
mend. 

The governor also referred at length to the effects of 

of the High License laws which had been passed during 

his administration, saying: 

The passage by the last legislature of the act commonly 
known as the high license law (and related legislation) marked 
an epoch in temperance reform in Minnesota, and set an ex- 
ample to other states of the Union from which some of them 
have already profited and others in all probability soon will. 
There was no subject before the legislature in which the people 
generally felt so deep an interest, and its consideration there- 
fore attracted the attention of the public in an unusual de- 
gree. * * * While no official data have been gathered, in- 
formation of a character to be relied upon shows a decrease 
of fully one -third in the number of saloons and an increase 
of one quarter in the revenue derived from licenses. The con- 
sumption of liquor has been lessened and the cause of tem- 
perance materially promoted. * * * 

Concerning proposed examinations for appointments 
and promotions in civil service, Governor MeG-ill wrote 
in this message: 

With the growth of the state and increase of public busi- 
ness it becomes all the more important, on grounds of true 
economy, that new appointments of officers and employees be 
made solely with reference to their qualifications. The states 
of New York and Massachusetts have for four years past ad- 
ministered their civil service on non-partisan principles with 
good results. * * * The examinations are required to be 
practical in their character and to relate to those matters 
which will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the 

301 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

persons examined, to discharge the duties of the service into 
which they seek to be appointed. 

The system thus briefly outlined encountered some preju- 
dice before it was fully understood, but it is now strongly sus- 
tained by the sentiment of both political parties in each state 
named. It would be a distinction for Minnesota to place her- 
self abreast of these enlightened and experienced states on this 
important subject. Character and high qualifications should be- 
the tests of fitness for public position rather than zeal in 
party manipulations, or ability to serve the partisan interests 
of any person or faction. And in a government by the peo- 
ple the highest office in the public service should be open to 
the honorable ambition of every honest citizen, no matter how 
humble his position in life. 

From 1874 to 1886, inclusive, Mr. McGill, as the 
Insurance Commissioner of this state, published thirteen 
annual reports, the third to the fifteenth of that depart- 
ment. They are largely made up of statistics of the 'fire 
and life insurance companies doing business in Min- 
nesota, and in size they vary between 300 and 400 pages 
each. 

Under date of July 27, 1883, he published a quarto- 
pamphlet of statistics, 10 pages, entitled "Experience of 
Thirty-three Insurance Companies in Minnesota for a 
Period of Ten Years." 

June 9, 1886, he gave an address at the Interstate 
Encampment of the Grand Army of the Bepublic, at 
Lake City, Minn., which was published as a pamphlet 
of 15 pages. 



302 




WILLIAM It. MERRIAM. 



WILLIAM RUSH MERRIAM 

Eleventh Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born at Wadham's Mills, 
New York, July 26, 1849, and is now 
residing in the city of Washington. He 
grew up from boyhood in St. Paul, 
Minn., and became a banker; was a 
representative in the legislature in 1883 
and 1887; and was governor from Janu- 
ary 9, 1889, to January 4, 1893. He 
was Director of the United States Cen- 
sus from 1899 to 1903. 



WILLIAM RUSH MERRIAM 

ELEVENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 
January 9, 1889, to January 4, 1893. 



THE Merriams were an influential family in Min- 
nesota, and of honorable descent. They posses- 
sed vigor of mind, high social standing, and great busi- 
ness activity. Few families ever became so interwoven 
with the concerns of the people in so young a state. 
When we consider all that John L. Merriam (the 
father), Amherst H. Wilder (the uncle), and their busi- 
ness associates, were to our young commonwealth, and 
the young governor, William Eush Merriam, to our 
financial, social and political life, it seems quite incred- 
ible that they should all have passed from our vision 
and disappeared from our affairs, save in history. Yet 
such is the fate of many of the oldest and formerly 
most vigorous families of the state. They are perpe- 
tuated in history, not in descendants. 

In Massachusetts the Adamses, the Lawrences, the 
Emersons, and the Hawthornes, founded families and 
perpetuated themselves. In New York the Livingstons, 
Schuylers, Hamiltons, Jays, Koosevelts, Astors, Vander- 
bilts, and scores of others, founded families and have 
20 305 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

left continuous tribes, endowed with money and with 
brains. But many of our early noted and strong men, 
save in their noble and useful lives, are perpetuated only 
in names of counties and towns. Possibly the Wash- 
burns may prove an exception. 

The progenitors of William E. Merriam's family on 
the paternal side were of Scotch origin; on the mater- 
nal side they were French. John L. Merriam, father 
of the governor, traced his ancestry to that William 
Merriam who was born at Bedford, Massachusetts, in 
1750, and served with the "Minute Men" in the war of 
the Eevolution. He took part in the memorable fight 
at Concord Bridge, April 19, 1775. He was chair- 
man of the Board of Select Men in Bedford, 1777. He 
was a prominent and well known citizen. The members 
of this particular branch of the Merriams located in 
northern New York. The father of the governor was 
born in Essex county, in 1828, and in time became a 
merchant at Wadhanr's Mills, and was also engaged in 
the iron trade, as were many others of the family. At 
one time, 1857, he was the treasurer of the county. His 
wife, Mahala De Lano, who, as the name indicates, was 
of French descent, was a woman of many estimable 
qualities, and strong, vigorous character. 

To this excellent couple was born William Eush 
Merriam, the future governor, July 26, 1849, in Essex 
county, N. Y., a region of beautiful and picturesque 
scenery. His birthplace was in a small village, called 
Wadhanr's Mills, where there were iron mills and manu- 
306 



WILLIAM RUSH M ERR I AM. 

i'acturing industries, and the few citizens were intelli- 
gent, industrious, and thrifty. 

His middle name, Rush, was for the celebrated Dr. 
William Rush, of Philadelphia, a family relative, of 
Revolutionary fame. 

When William was but twelve years of age, in 1861, 
his father removed to Minnesota and settled at once in 
St. Paul. It was years before the advent of railroads, 
and in connection with those vigorous pioneers, James 
C. Burbank, Captain Russell Blakeley, and Colonel 
Alvaren Allen, he engaged in the stage and transportation 
business, under the name of the "Minnesota Stage Com- 
pany." This firm secured all the mail contracts of the 
Northwest, and, with their passenger and express busi- 
ness, were men of great business affairs. John L. Mer- 
riam at once exhibited the pushing, energetic business 
qualities which made him eminently successful. In 1870 
he was elected to the legislature, and again in 1871, and 
in both sessions he was made Speaker of the House. 
The son, as events proved, followed the footsteps of his 
father. 

Colonel John L. Merriam was known as one of the 
most enterprising and valuable citizens, whose unblem- 
ished character and fine social qualities gained him the 
esteem of all. 

From the time of the family's arrival in St. Paul 
till he was fifteen years of age, young William led an 
uneventful life, and was habitually in attendance at the 
public schools. In 1864 he was sent to school at Ra- 

307 



GOVEBNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

cine., Wisconsin, for a course at the Academy. Subse- 
quently he entered Eacine College, where in due time he 
completed the regular college course. He and Governor 
Davis were the only ones of our governors who were col- 
lege graduates. 

Merriam was held to be a very excellent student at 
college, and he was exceedingly fond of all athletic 
sports and diversions. At the close of each college year 
he stood at the head of his classes, and his average pro- 
ficiency was so high, that in 1871, in the order of general 
merit, he was assigned to the high honor of delivering 
the valedictory address. 

He returned home, proud of his collegiate record, 
and ambitious for duty in the big world of the North- 
west. Marking out for himself a business career, he 
engaged as a clerk in the First National Bank, at a 
salary of $50 per month. His work gave great satis- 
faction to his employers and secured the commendation 
of the officers of the bank. In 1873, when the Mer- 
chants' National Bank of St. Paul was organized, he was 
elected as its first cashier, although only twenty-four 
years of age. His promotion was rapid, but his work 
was good, and his strong family influence did the rest. 

In 1880 he was chosen vice president of this bank, 
and four years later was elected to the presidency, which 
position he held until he was promoted, in the political 
world, to the head of the state government. His ad- 
vancement in commercial circles was regarded as rapid, 
and some doubted the propriety of his swift elevation. 

308 



W 1 L L I A M RUSH MEBHIA M. 

Meantime, he took a lively interest in the affairs 
of the city of St. Paul, whose growth had been cotem- 
poraneous with his own. He had inherited from his 
father Republican principles, and was an active member 
of that party. He was heartily identified with varioiih 
Republican clubs, and his active interest in political 
matters caused him to be regarded as one of the leading 
young Republicans of the state. In 1882 he was nomi- 
nated by his party and elected from the Twenty-seventh 
District to the Legislature of 1883. He was appointed 
a member of the Committee on Finance and Banks, and 
was chairman of the Committee on Appropriations. He 
was, as yet, considered but a tyro in political affairs. 

During this session of the legislature, there occur- 
red a bitter fight in the election of a United States sen- 
ator, when the Hon. William Windom was defeated, 
and Dwight M. Sabin succeeded him. Young Merriam 
was an ardent supporter of Sabin. The limitations of 
this sketch do not admit of a discussion of the causes 
which led to the defeat of Mr. Windom; but it has long 
been admitted that the state made a serious mistake in 
dispensing with the services of so capable and faithful 
a public servant as Senator Windom had proven himself 
to be. 

In 1886 Mr. Merriam was again elected to the legis- 
lature from St. Paul. On the assembling of that body 
he was nominated and duly chosen, as his father had 
been sixteen years before, Speaker of the House. His 



309 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

career iri that elevated position was considered as gener- 
ally ; eoKtimendable. 

Ignatius Donnelly, for the time acting with the Re- 
publicans, may be truly said to have given Merriam his 
real start in political life. The farmers did not suffer at 
the hands of the young Speaker, for Donnelly, represent- 
ing the Farmers* Alliance, supported Merriam. At the 
end of the session, Merriam received the full endorsement 
of the House for his administration of the important 
functions of his high office, and for the fair and gener- 
ous treatment he accorded to friends and political foes 
alike. As a presiding officer over the popular branch 
of the legislature, a position requiring intelligence, ad- 
dress, and promptness, his decisions were uniformly fair, 
and his course commendable. In making up the com- 
mittees, it was distinctly noticeable that he gave the 
farmers a very liberal share. 

In 1886 he was chosen vice president of the State 
Agricultural Society, and in 1887 he was elected presi- 
dent of that body, and his marked executive ability made 
his administration a decided success. 
■■■•■' September 5 and 6, 1888, the regular Republi- 
can convention for the purpose of nominating state offi- 
cers was held in St. Paul. The Hon. A. R. McGill, then 
governor, was a candidate to succeed himself. By an 
unwritten political law, his administration having been 
clean and honorable, he was entitled to the endorsement 
of a second term. He had been in his first campaign 
the champion of high license, which the Republican party 

310 



WILLIAM BUSH MEEEIAM. 

had made the issue. On this issue McGill had been 
elected, though with a reduced majority. He urged high 
license in his message to the legislature, and in every 
way he was identified with the measure. 

Others ambitious of gubernatorial honors thought 
they saw a weakness in McGilFs position, and stood 
ready to sacrifice the champion of high license on the 
altar of their ambition. 

Albert Scheffer, of St. Paul, Charles A. Gilman, of 
St. Cloud, and William K. Merriam, of St. Paul, were 
the contestants of Governor McGill. This contest proved 
to be very bitter in the way it was waged. The attacks 
on Governor McGill were exceedingly ungenerous and 
unfair, for in every way he had been an acceptable official 
and was personally without reproach. 

William E. Merriam was young and could afford to 
bide his time and be generous. Had he done so, he 
would undoubtedly have been the nominee two years 
later, without controversy and perhaps without opposi- 
tion, and it would have left him without heartaches and 
grievances which probably materially barred his future 
political success. 

There were vigorous and trenchant comments on 
ihe character and conduct of the convention, and upon 
the political integrity of some of the members; and 
many of the Eepublican papers of the state were unusu- 
ally severe upon methods which, it was alleged, charac- 
terized the proceedings. But these matters, doubtless 



311 



GOVEKXOES OF MINNESOTA. 

exaggerated, have passed into forgetfulness, and there is 
no occasion to revive them now. 

It was the rural districts which gave Merriam his 
nomination, for he always stood well with the farmers. 
There were four formal ballots, and on the fourth the ex- 
Speaker was nominated, receiving 270 out of 448 votes, 
225 being necessary to a choice. He had made a vigor- 
ous canvass and maintained his hold on the rural masses. 
His Democratic opponent was Hon. Eugene M. Wilson, 
of Minneapolis, an able lawyer, a man of great personal 
popularity, and once a member of Congress. The only 
other nominee was Hugh. Harrison, Prohibitionist. Mer- 
riam was elected by a majority of 24,104 over Wilson, 
who received 110,257 votes, while Harrison received 
17,026, and Merriam 134,355. His general administra- 
tion as governor was quite satisfactory to his party, and 
his renomination followed, in 1890, with less opposition. 

The Democrats in 1890 ran against him the Hon. 
Thomas Wilson, of Winona, once a member of the 
Supreme Bench of the state, and a gentleman of fine 
culture, marked ability, and well known throughout the 
state. The situation was, however, essentially different 
from the former contest. The Farmers* Alliance move- 
ment had gained cohesion and was now at the height of 
its power, and it presented a candidate of its own in 
the person of S. M. Owen, editor of the Farm, Stock 
and Home, an agricultural journal, a resident of Minne- 
apolis, The tri-party election was close, the Eepublicans 
suffering severe loss. Merriam received 88,111 votes;. 

312 



WILLIAM RUSH MEBRIAM. 

Wilson, 85,844; and Owen, 58,513. James P. Pinkham 
also ran as a Prohibitionist, and received 8,424 vote?. 
Merriam's plurality over his leading opponent was 2,267. 
Merriam thus became a minority governor, and it was 
the second instance^ since the organization of the state, 
in which the Republican candidate had not received a 
majority over all competitors. 

Governor Merriam's career as chief executive was 
marked by an intelligent conception of the important 
duties and responsibilities of the office. His messages, 
during the four years, are excellent state papers, vigor- 
ous, clear and comprehensive. His recommendations 
were all practical and well received by the legislature 
and by the people also. He evidently had at heart the 
general welfare, was proud of his state, and indulged 
high hopes of its splendid future. The public business 
was transacted with a promptness characteristic of a 
business man. When it is remembered that he was, in 
years, next to the youngest governor in the Union, and 
the youngest this state has ever had, we can take pride 
in the good judgment and sound discretion which charac- 
terized his administration. 

During his incumbency of the office, several impor- 
tant measures were passed; among others, the election 
law based on the Australian system, the law for leasing 
the iron ore lands belonging to the state school fund, 
and for refunding the state debt at a lower rate of in- 
terest. 



313 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

As a citizen of St. Paul, Merriam was regarded as 
one of its worthiest and most valuable men. He took 
an active part in all its local concerns. He was presi- 
dent of the Merchants' National Bank; a member of the 
Chamber of Commerce; treasurer of the Board of Edu- 
cation; a vestryman of St. Paul's church; and was 
largely connected and interested in. various local business 
enterprises. 

He was always concerned in agricultural matters. 
He was vice president of the State Agricultural Society 
in 1886, and in 1887 and 1888 was its president. His 
management brought success and prosperity to the 
Society. His active temperament made him fond of 
athletic sports and diversions, and he was the first presi- 
dent of the Minnesota Boat Club. He was ever an ad- 
mirer and owner of good horses. It is a more intelligent 
passion to love a good horse than an autombile. 

It is very difficult in a work of this sort to fully 
consider the conduct and merits of living men, and to 
give them their proper place in history. To the living 
it is like reading their own obituaries. But one can 
obtain many interesting opinions of one's life by reading 
contemporaneous journals, especially those of the opposi- 
tion. It is not always necessary to wait till the under- 
taker has, with grim joy, arranged the flowers and dec- 
orated the casket, to find something of the final estimate 
of a public man. Pre-obituaries are constantly being 
written by enthusiastic journalists, who so often handle 
public men with ungracious confidence and merciless 
314 



WILLIAM BUSH MBEEIAM. 

method. Somewhere midway between the extravagant 
eulogies of a partisan press and the frailties and faults 
discovered by unfriendly journals, there is a line of jus- 
tice and truth. It is the manifest duty of the non- 
partisan biographer to follow the intervening course. As 
Ovid well says, "Medio tutissimus ibis." 

From the beginning of his career Governor Mer- 
riam very much coveted the honors and exhilarations of 
politics. That he never achieved his most ambitious de- 
sires, is due chiefly to his unwillingness to wait with 
patience and bide his time. The machinations of his 
friends to set aside a predecessor, Governor McGill, 
without sufficient cause, w^re plainly ungenerous, and 
the more so when the aspirant was possessed of youth 
and health and could await his turn, which surely would 
have come without contention or injustice. The result 
of this impatience left behind it sores which were never 
healed, and which presented obstacles to all his future as- 
pirations. The concensus of opinion is now that the set- 
ting aside of McGill for a second term was a tactical 
mistake for the party and all concerned in it, being a 
blemish on the fair dealing which so generally charac- 
terized the Eepublican party in the state. It is not the 
purpose of historical composition simply to eulogize men 
and carry them on to posterity with garlands of flowers, 
but to tell the truth, to the end that the youth of the 
state be forewarned, and that every public life be made 
a teacher of political wisdom. 



315 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The parts which fell to Governor Merriam in the 
drama of political life were always important and often 
conspicuous. In 1896, together with Governor L. F. 
Hubbard, Robert G. Evans, and George Thompson, he 
was sent as one of the delegates to the National Republi- 
can Convention which nominated William McKinley for 
President. The great contest in that convention was 
what was termed the "Battle of the Standards," The 
scheming and contention pending the adoption of the 
platform was sharp, and results were very uncertain. 
Many prominent Republicans were "weak-kneed" on the 
question of sound money. Even William McKinley was 
in doubt as to the best policy. While Senator Hanna 
was sound in his personal views, he was in serious doubt 
as to the policy of the party. "Free Silver" was then in 
its "run of fever." It really appeared at one time that 
the committee on resolutions would report a mongrel 
plank, which would admit of a bi-metallic construction 
and thus "straddle" the question. 

The Minnesota delegation was decidedly for the gold 
standard. Governor Merriam had been designated as the 
member of the committee on resolutions, and he was es- 
pecially instructed by his, delegation to vote for a gold 
standard. But he was known to be largely under the in- 
fluence of Senator Hanna, whose final action was yet in 
doubt. So the delegation riveted Minnesota's position 
to the gold standard by positive instructions. This was 
strictly in accord wth previous instructions by the Re- 
publican State Convention, Merriam, as a banker, was 

316 



WILLIAM BUSH MEEEIAM. 

surely personally in favor of sound money; but the dele- 
gation took no chances, and sealed their position by in- 
structions. This was Minnesota's part in the adoption of 
the gold standard in the national platform of 1896. 

It is the general belief of our ablest politicians that 
Mr. McKinley's election would not have followed had not 
the gold standard been unequivocally adopted. After his 
election, a wave of confidence swept over the country, as 
a consequence of the adoption of the gold standard, which 
resulted in continuous and unparalleled prosperity such 
as never before was the happy lot of any people. It is 
proper to remark that Governor Merriam was selected as 
one of the sub-committee to prepare the platform, and 
did good work on that important document. His in- 
fluence counted strongly in favor of sound money, which 
at once became the shibboleth of the party. 

In 1893, when the late Senator Davis was a can- 
didate for re-election to the United States Senate, it is 
of record that he came near being defeated. Among 
those who opposed- Davis' re-election, even after his nomi- 
nation by a Eepublican caucus, was Governor Merriam, 
who was himself a contingent candidate for the place, 
for which he received two votes.* In the final vote Davis 
received eighty-five votes, the exact number necessary to a 
choice. It will thus be seen that his danger was immi- 
nent. It was claimed by Senator Davis and his friends 
that he was greatly embarrassed in his canvass by the ac- 
tion of Governor Merriam, and they charged him with 
being the head of the conspiracy for the defeat of Davis. 

317 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

A coolness naturally followed between these two promi- 
nent men, and thenceforth their political friendship 
ceased. 

This alienation proved unfortunate for Governor 
Merriam. Senator Davis, by his ability, culture, and the 
sum of many distinguishing qualities, had now advanced 
to the very highest position in the Senate and in the 
councils of his party. His influence had become potent. 
In the course of events during the administration of 
President McKinley, it came to pass that Governor Mer- 
riam, or his friends, was anxious to have him nominated 
for a first-class position abroad, and even urged him, for 
a seat in the Cabinet. The embassy to Austria was 
named as the first, and the Interior Department as the 
latter. But though Governor Merriam, as it was under- 
stood, was strongly favored by so powerful a senator as 
Marcus Hanna, yet Senator Davis was potent enough to 
prevent either of these appointments from being made. 
But resentment will not always abide in a great and gen- 
erous heart. A partial reconciliation took place between 
these two noted men, as subsequent events proved. 

Fortunate, indeed, was it for the government and 
the country, when Governor Merriam was appointed 
Director of the Census by President McKinley, March 7, 
1899. He was promptly confirmed by the assent of 
Minnesota's great senator. His special fitness for this 
important work was demonstrated by his complete suc- 
cess in the administration of the office. It was here 
that Governor Merriam did the best work of his public 

318 



WILLIAM BUSH MERKIAM. 

life. Dr. S. N". D. North, Merriam's successor in the 
office and the present Director of the Census, has kindly 
furnished me with a favorable notice of Governor Mer- 
riam^s work in that difficult Bureau, and I have no hesita- 
tion in using this just tribute to a competent and vig- 
orous official, with thanks to Dr. North: 

The law for the taking of the Twelfth Federal Census 
had been approved March 3 prior. This law provided that the 
census should be taken as of June 1, the following year. The 
governor was thus given a period of twelve months only, in 
which to organize a work which, apart from wars, is the most 
gigantic and the most difficult undertaken by the government. 
He organized it out of nothing, in the nature of things, be- 
cause the machinery under which the Eleventh Census was 
taken had entirely disappeared. There was at first some 
criticism of the appointment of Governor Merriam, on the 
ground that he was not a statistician, and could not therefore 
produce a scientific and satisfactory census. It was President 
McKinley's theory, in appointing him that the census had 
grown to be so large an undertaking, by reason of the trem- 
endous growth of the country, that business experience rather 
than expert knowledge had come to be the prime factor in its 
successful outcome. The result completely justified his judg- 
ment. Governor Merriam immediately drew about him, in the 
important positions of chief statisticians in charge of the 
five great branches of decennial census work, the five men who 
were recognized as knowing more from study and experience 
about the best method of handling the work in each of these 
branches, than any one else in the country. He told these 
men, when he appointed them, that he would hold them in- 
dividually responsible for their work; that he would not in- 
terfere with them, except to see that everything was done in 
proper business ways. The result was extraordinary, when 
judged by our previous census experiences. The Twelfth Cen- 
sus was not only the best census ever compiled in the United 
States, from the point of view of accuracy and comprehen- 
siveness, but it was also the most economical, tested on the 
per capita basis, and what is even more important, the most 
expeditious in the publication of the results. 

The census law required that these results must be made 
public within two years from the date of the enumeration. 
This was actually accomplished; and it was due to the busi- 
ness energy which Governor Merriam brought to the work, and 
with which he inspired all his subordinates and of which he 
set the daily example. 

319 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

One other remarkable achievement distinguished Governor 
Merriam's administration of the Census Office. It is to his 
effort and influence chiefly that the country is indebted for 
the establishment of the permanent Census Office. The move- 
ment for such a law was started more than thirty years ago. 
It had the earnest support, during this entire period, of prac- 
tically all the teachers and students of economics, sociology, 
and statistics; but it made no headway. Bill after bill was 
introduced in Congress and pigeonholed in committee. Early 
in his administration, Governor Merriam became convinced 
that a permanent statistical bureau, always available for the 
compilation of any statistics that might be wanted, as the 
basis of intelligent legislation by Congress, was a prime re- 
quisite of the government. He .turned his energies to the ac- 
complishment of this end before he had completed the reports 
of the Twelfth Census. The first bill introduced to establish 
the permanent census was defeated in the House. Undis- 
mayed, Governor Merriam kept at it; and finally, on March 6, 
1902, he had the satisfaction of witnessing the President's sig- 
nature to the law under which the bureau he had organized so 
carefully and successfully was made permanent. It was Gov- 
ernor Merriam's personality which made this result possible. 
A practical politician himself, he knew how to enlist the sup- 
port of practical politicians who comprise the rank and file of 
both Houses of Congress. He marshaled all his resources to 
accomplish a result which appealed to him as vital to the full 
development of governmental statistical science; and he suc- 
ceeded when a scientific statistician, in the position he occu- 
pied, would most certainly have failed. And so it happens 
that this great science of statistics, — as yet largely undevel- 
oped and capable of infinite improvement, — owes more, in the 
matter of its future advance in the United States, to this 
business man, untrained in statistics, than to all the statisti- 
cians combined. That he was wholly disinterested in his atti- 
tude Governor Merriam proved by resigning the Directorship 
very shortly to re-enter business life. 

For the reasons above stated, future commentators will be 
compelled to agree that the science of governmental statistics 
in the United States owes more to Director Merriam than to 
any of his predecessors in charge of the decennial census. 

In 1903 Governor Merriam resigned from the Census 
office to take an active part in the management of a large 
corporation, and at this time he is president of two cor- 
porations with his headquarters in the city of Washington, 
where, with his family, he now resides. 

320 



WILLIAM EUSH MEKKIAM. 

Whether Governor Merriam purposes to retire from 
active polities, we are not fully advised. When a man 
of energetic persistency abandons a long cherished pur- 
pose and bows to the force of public sentiment and to 
the logic of events, he is entitled to great credit. Hav- 
ing left this state, and again entered into large business 
connections, he has made it quite impracticable to re- 
enter the political arena in Minnesota, where new combi- 
nations have been formed and new dispositions effectually 
made. Governor Merriam is yet in the prime of active 
manhood, being but fifty-eight years of age, and mentally 
and physically in vigorous form. 

To those who have followed the career of William 
Eush Merriam, there is much that is interesting and 
dramatic. The first of our governors reared upon our 
soil, the youngest in years, his character formed by a 
purely Minnesota environment, he came upon the stage 
as the representative of the young Bepublicans of Min- 
nesota. Well born, with intellectual capacity, finely edu- 
cated, ambitious and full of energy, he aspired to greater 
things than he ever achieved. His besetting hindrance 
was his constant impatience. He was too eager in his 
ambitions, and, in the excitement of contest and heat of 
battle, not always prudent and above criticism in their 
promotion. He was not satisfied with a life spent in the 
dubious routine of the commercial world, hence he leaped 
into politics as a stimulant and feeder of his ambition. 
Born at an earlier period, in obedience to the "Call" of 
blood, he might have successfully followed Sherman to 
21 321 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

the sea, or Grant to Vicksburg, in satisfaction of his rest- 
less energy, as well as from patriotic motives. 

Mr. Merriam was married at St. Paul, October 2, 
1872, to Miss Laura E. Hancock, a most estimable and 
cultivated woman, daughter of Colonel John Hancock, 
of Washington City, and niece of the celebrated General 
Winfield Scott Hancock of the Union army. 

Col. John Hancock was adjutant on his brother's 
staff during the war. It was in that capacity that 
he carried a despatch to Gen. Meade after General 
Hancock was wounded, urging him to follow Lee after 
the fight at Gettysburg. Had Meade followed this advice 
and pushed his advantages, the war might have prac- 
tically ended then and there. 

Mrs. Merriam's mother was a direct descendant 
of John Adams, of Masachusetts. She was born in the 
city of Philadelphia. She was of a fine lineage, highly 
cultured, and especially well qualified for the duties of 
the best society. 

The Governor had erected a goodly .. mansion on what 
was called "Merriam Hill," a sightly spot, overlook- 
ing the city of St. Paul. Here his admirable wife dis- 
pensed the most elegant hospitality, and made the 
home the center not only of a brilliant social circle, 
but of a happy family. Unfortunately, this mansion 
was totally destroyed by fire in 1896, and was never 
rebuilt. 

To this marriage there were born five children: 
John Hancock Merriam, July 16, 1874; Mabel de Lano 
322 



WILLIAM KUSH MEERIAM. 

July 31, 1876; William Hancock, May 5, 1878; Amherst 
Wilder, January 31, 1888, deceased; and Laura Beatrice, 
February 15, 1892. 



The inaugural address of Governor Merriam, Jan- 
uary 9, 1889, was published as a pamphlet of 24 pages, 
and as the second paper (pages 41-64) in Volume I 
of the Executive Documents of Minnesota for 1888 (St. 
Paul, 1889). In this address he said, in part: 

The highest obligation devolving upon citizens is to care- 
fully and loyally serve their state or country. To be called 
upon by our fellow men to make or administer their laws, 
or to be selected as the guardian of some one of the many 
public trusts, should be esteemed a high honor. 

More especially is this true in a government like our own, 
founded upon republican principles, and maintained by the 
popular voice;, and yet in the midst of the active and busy 
life that is the lot of most of us, we are too apt to overlook 
our duty to the state., and to leave to others the care and 
management of its affairs. 

Among these public trusts and duties none more honor- 
able, or more important, can be imposed upon a citizen by his 
fellows than to intrust him with the enactment of laws for 
the protection of life and property, for guarding the unfortu- 
nate, and for defending the weak as against the strong. 



Economy in the disbursement of the public funds is no 
less important and necessary to the welfare and prosperity of 
the state than is the fidelity and integrity of those to whom is 
committed the trust of caring for its revenues. 



No state in the Union possesses more economical, thrifty 
and law abiding citizens than does Minnesota, and as their 
representatives, it will undoubtedly be your desires, as it is 
clearly your duty, to guard the public fund, and" to see that 
no unnecessary, or useless expenditure is made of the money 
which, for the most part, represents the tribute paid by honest 
toil for the common good. 

323 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

January 14, 1891, Governor Merriam delivered his 
biennial message to the twenty-seventh legislature. It 
was published as a pamphlet of 18 pages, and also as 
pages 33-50 of Volume I, Executive Documents of Min- 
nesota for 1890 (Minneapolis 3 1891). 

His second and last biennial message, delivered to 
the Legislature on January 4, 1893, was published as the 
first paper (pages 19-31) in the first volume of the 
Executive Documents for 1892 (Minneapolis, 1893), and 
also as a separate pamphlet of 13 pages. In this mes- 
sage he said, referring to the need of a new capitol 
building : 

The last legislature selected a commission to inquire into 
the desirability of selecting a site upon which to place a new 
building for the use of the state officers. In my judgment, the 
time has now arrived, in view of the present crowded condi- 
tion of our capitol building, to seriously contemplate the nec- 
essity of providing for the future uses of the executive officers 
of the State. The present structure is entirely inadequate 
for the needs of the officials charged with the performance of 
the public duties of various kinds, and as some years would 
necessarily elapse before a new building could be completed, 
it would be well to provide during the present session for the 
future uses of the State in this regard. * * * The build- 
ing would necessarily be designed with a view to the future 
growth of the State, and to that end could be constructed 
with the purpose of having it ready for use eight or ten years 
hence. The amount collected year by year would be so small 
as to be hardly felt by the taxpayers, and by the time the 
building was an absolute necessity we should be possessed of 
a handsome edifice entirely proportionate to the importance 
of the State. I sincerely commend to you the desirability of 
prompt consideration and action upon this subject. 

An address by Governor Merriam before the State 
Farmers' Alliance at its annual meeting in St. Paul, 
March 4, 1890, was published as a pamphlet of thirteen 
pages, including reprints (pages 9-13) of editorial arti- 

324 



WILLIAM BUSH MEBBIAM. 

eles, commenting on this address, from the St. Paul 
Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Journal. 

An article entitled "The Currency of the Future," 
suggesting modifications of the national banking sys- 
tem, published by Governor Merriam in the Chicago In- 
ter-Ocean, was reprinted at St. Paul under the date of 
March 17, 1892, in a pamphlet of fifteen pages, of which 
the last five pages are press comments of St. Paul 
and Minneapolis newspapers. This article was also re- 
printed in Rhodes' Journal of Banking for September, 
1892 (pages 1015-1020). 

As the director of the Twelfth Census of the United 
States, taken in the year 1900, Governor Merriam pub- 
lished its large series of Bulletins and Reports, compris- 
ing eighteen quarto volumes, issued at Washington in 
the years 1900 to 1903. 

During the same years and in connection with this 
great work, he contributed the following articles in 
magazines : 

The Census of 1900 ; in the North American Review, 
volume 170, pages 99-108, January, 1900. 

Taking of the Census; in the Independent, vol. 
52, pp. 1235-6, May 24, 1900. 

Suffrage, North and South; in the Forum, vol. 
32, pp. 460-5, December, 1901. 

Need of a Permanent Census Office; North Ameri- 
can Review, vol. 174, pp. 105-112, January, 1902. 

"Trusts" in the Light of Census Returns; Atlan- 
tic Monthly, vol. 89, pp. 332-9, March, 1902. 

325 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Evolution of American Census-Taking; Century 
Magazine, vol. 65, pp. 831-42, April, 1903. 

Noteworthy Eesults of the Twelfth Census ; Century 
Magazine, vol. 66, pp. 712-23, September, 1903. 

The Census in Foreign Countries; Century Maga- 
zine, vol/ 66, pp. 879-86, October, 1903. 



326 




KNUTE NELSON. 



KNUTE NELSON 

Twelfth Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born at Vosse Elven, Nor- 
way, February 2, 1843, and is still living. 
He came to the United States when six 
years old; served in the Civil War; and 
afterward became a lawyer. Since 1871 
his home has been upon a farm at Alex- 
andria* Minn. He was governor from 
January 4, 1893, to January 31, 1895, 
and has since been a United States senator. 



KNUTE NELSON 

TWELFTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 4, 1893, to January 31, 1895. 



THE frozen North has contributed of the vigor 
of its Scandinavian blood to enrich that of the 
Saxon race in the United States, especially in the 
Northwest. In that brotherhood of virile races which 
blend in America to its advantage, the Norseman is in 
a high degree conspicuous. Every billow in the great 
North Sea has rocked men, as in a cradle, who were des- 
tined to come to America. And truly, the immigrant 
from the land of Bjornson, Ibsen, Kielland, Welhaven, 
Ericsson, and Ole Bull, has been gladly welcomed to 
our shores. His desirability as an immigrant is un- 
questioned. He comes here to settle permanently, and 
not to hoard his savings and return to spend them in 
his native land. His good moral character, his honest 
way of doing things, his frugal habits, commend him 
as a worthy citizen. 'Ton Yonson" comes as deter- 
mined to stay as did the Pilgrim Fathers. The second 
generation is as thoroughly American as the rest of us, 
so rapidly do they assimilate. Soon their blood will be 

329 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

as fully infused with ours as that of the Knickerbockers 
of New York or of the Cavaliers of Virginia. 1 

Of the Norsemen, Minnesota has received its share. 
We had in 1905 in the state £37,894 Swedes and Nor- 
wegians; of these 111,611 are from Norway. The city 
of Minneapolis, alone, has a Scandinavian population 
(1905) of 42,418. It is within the easy memory of 
many of us, when Germany furnished the heaviest por- 
tion of our foreign population. But she has (in 1905) 
but 119,868, as compared with the Scandinavian immi- 
gration noted above. This numerical strength carries 
with it the element of political power, which, if not 
always judiciously, has been pretty extensively exercised. 

Knute Nelson was born February 2, 1843, on the 
rugged coast of Norway, near the ''Whirlpool," as given 
in the geographies of our childhood. He was the only 
son and child of a poor farmer, who lived at the 
Vosse Elven, a place located between the glassy fjords 
and the storm swept mountains, a little margin of land 
next to the sea. 

His father owned the soil he tilled. When not 
engaged on the farm, he was a sailor on the sea. The 
Norwegians of the coast took to the water like ducks, 
and sea enterprises were the natural order of things. 
When the writer pushed the Senator as to his early 



*It is appropriate to observe that from the ranks of Scan- 
dinavian immigrants, anarchists, paupers, tramps, and rjeace 
disturbers, are never recruited. In intent and purpose, in 
spirit and effort, they do not fail in making good and pa- 
triotic American citizens. 

330 



KNUTE NELSON. 

progenitors, he replied, "Don't pursue my genealogical 
lines too far, or you may run into the roughest nest of 
pirates that ever infested the North Sea. I am not 
so much concerned as to what my grandfather was as 
to what my grandson will be." He knows but little 
about his family centuries back, but is solicitous as 
to their future in the free land to which they have been 
transplanted for the centuries to come. 

His father died when Knute was an infant. His 
widowed mother gathered together her scanty means, 
and with her boy of six years came to America, follow- 
ing a brother who had come before her. For a year or 
more she supported herself and boy by hard work in 
the City of Chicago, and there the youthful son did 
his first work in selling newspapers on the street. 
She removed to Dane county, Wisconsin, not far from the 
city of Madison, where by hard work and great frugality 
she supported herself and child on a small farm. On this 
sandy farm young Nelson grew to manhood. Through all 
his boyhood and youth they were poor, and in the hayfield 
and the harvest he aided in the support of his mother. He 
had a hard road to travel, but he had inherited a good 
constitution and indomitable perseverance. It is ver- 
acious history to say that Knute Nelson was not born 
with a silver spoon in his mouth. 

One Mary Dillon, who taught the district school, 
gave his life perhaps its definite direction. She was 
a cultivated woman, and became much interested in the 
humble fortunes of the boy's family. She urged him 

331 



GOVEKNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

to educate himself, and told him he might become a dis- 
tinguished man. "You can't be President/' she said, 
"for you were not born in this country; but you can be 
a United States Senator/' The good woman did not live 
to see the fulfillment of her prophecy. 

From this time he studied with keen interest the 
lives of such successful men as he could obtain. In the 
pursuit of an education he journeyed in an ox cart of 
home construction, the wheels of which were sections of a 
big log, to the little village aeadamy from which he was 
finally graduated. In this cart was a large wooden chest 
which they had brought from Norway containing his 
scanty wardrobe and provisions to last him for half the 
term. He did his own cooking and lived with great 
simplicity. He bore the slights and ridicule of his 
fellow students with patience and good humor. 

At eighteen years old he was thoroughly an Ameri- 
can in heart and sympathy. This country was his 
country. With the consent of his widowed mother, on 
the second of July, 1861, he enlisted as a private in 
Company B, Fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 
which regiment was changed to the Fourth Wisconsin 
Cavalry within the year. From Eacine, Wis., the regi- 
ment was ordered to Washington, D. C, where, after 
a short detention, on February 16, 1862, it was or- 
dered to join General Butler's Gulf Expedition, at Ship 
Island. He was present with the regiment at the capture 
of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and at the taking of the 
city of New Orleans on the thirtieth of April, 1862. 

332 



KNUTE NELSON. 

He was in the expedition up the river against Vicksburg 
and was in the battles of Baton Kouge, Camp Bisland, 
Franklin, and the sharp engagements at Opelousas. 

At the siege of Port Hudson, on the fourteenth of 
June, 1863, his regiment led the desperate charge against 
the rebel works. It was in this charge that young Nel- 
son fell, severely wounded in the thigh. He lay on 
the field, exposed to the fire of both friend and foe, till 
night ended the combat, when the rebels sallied out 
and made him and others prisoners. He remained a 
prisoner till Fort Hudson surrendered, July 9, 1863. 
Mule meat, corn cake, and sassafras tea, were the ra- 
tions of the wounded boy. He was two months in the 
hospital before he rejoined his regiment. After months 
of contests with guerrillas and bushwhackers, his term 
of enlistment having expired, and being much broken 
in health from the effect of his wound and hardships, 
he was mustered out July 13, 1864, and returned 
to his home in Wisconsin. In his company and regi- 
ment his reputation was that of a brave soldier, modest 
and unassuming, but manly in his bearing. One of 
his comrades declares that he did not have an enemy in 
the regiment. With true filial love and loyalty he 
ssent his soldier's pay to his widowed mother, and 
when he returned he found the good mother had saved 
it all to aid him in his academic course. 

He re-entered the academy at Albion, and finished 
his course in the class of 1865. In the autumn of that 
year he entered the law office of Colonel William F. Vilas, 

333 



GOVERNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

of Madison, Wisconsin, and read law till he was admitted 
to the bar in the fall of 1867. Colonel Vilas on frequent 
occasions expressed his admiration for the industry 
with which he pursued his professional studies, notwith- 
standing the privations attendant upon poverty, and was 
not at all surprised at Nelson's future success and 
achievements. 

He opened a law office in Madison, and soon es- 
tablished a good reputation as a young lawyer of 
promise. In 1867 he was elected a member of the 
legislature from Dane county, which includes the city of 
Madison. He made some reputation as a debater. 

For some time he entertained the idea of seeking 
a new home, and in July, 1871, he came to the fron- 
tier town of Alexandria, in Douglas county, Minnesota, 
and took up a "homestead," adjoining the townsite of 
Alexandria. Here, with his own hands, he opened a 
farm and diligently cultivated the soil. On this home- 
stead he resides to this day. 

This is the only instance in which a public man, 
reaching so elevated a position in the nation, has taken 
a homestead claim in his early manhood, continuously 
abiding thereon, making it his permanent home during 
all the years of struggle and battle, till he became a 
distinguished senator of the United States. Surely 
such a home must be dear to his heart, and it is today 
his place of refuge and rest when he can escape from 
the press of his public duties. It is far more dear to 



334 



KNUTE NELSON. 

him than Marshfield was to Webster, or Ashland to 
Clay. 

Having opened a law office in Alexandria, in 1872, 
he was elected comity attorney of Douglas county, in 
which capacity he served three years. In 1874 he was 
elected to the state senate, and he gave such satisfac- 
tion that he was re-nominated by acclamation, and was 
elected without opposition. He served on the two most 
important committees of the senate, the judiciary and the 
railroad. He was pitted by his party against Ignatius 
Donnelly, and was able to meet that pugnacious senator 
at every point. His service in securing legislation by 
which the St. Paul and Pacific (now the Great North- 
ern) railway was built, on the lines it now holds, was 
greatly to the permanent benefit of the state. 

In 1882 he was elected to a seat in Congress, being 
the first member of that body from Northern Minnesota. 
The most exciting, the most dramatic political conven- 
tion ever held in the state was the one at Detroit, in 
Becker county, July 12, 1882, being the first convention 
in a new congressional district, the Fifth, which was a 
monster territory, containing twenty-eight counties. 
Knute Nelson and Charles F. Kindred were the princi- 
pal candidates for Congress. It is impossible at this 
distant day to appreciate the intense interest which was 
aroused by conditions presented. Hon. Charles A. Gil- 
man, of St. Cloud, and Hon. C. H. Graves, of Duluth, 
were also candidates. But as the campaign developed, 
all interest centered about the two former. 

335 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Mr. Kindred for several years was the chief clerk 
of the land department of the Northern Pacific railroad. 
It was charged that he had used the opportunities 
offered by that office to enrich himself at the expense 
of the settlers and the company. The mode and manner 
by which he conducted his frauds were distinctly set 
forth in charges preferred by the company, published 
in the Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Tribune, August 
2, 1882. To these charges Mr. Kindred made no public 
denial. A special committee of the company was ap- 
pointed to investigate the charges, and this committee 
found Mr. Kindred guilty, and recommended his dis- 
missal, which was done. But he had accumulated great 
wealth, for that time, out of his alleged corrupt prac- 
tices, and he proposed to make a vigorous financial cam- 
paign for Congress. He opened "his barrel," and the 
district was speedily overrun with brass bands, torch- 
light processions, and all the machinery of political 
warfare. Newspapers were subsidized, and new ones 
were established. "Regularity" in county conventions 
counted for nothing, all fairness was at an end, and 
double delegates appeared from a large number of 
counties. 

When the convention assembled, pandemonium was 
let loose. The convention split into a double-header 
from the very start; the stage was the scene of the 
wildest disorder, and personal encounters followed. Two 
conventions were the immediate result, and both men 
were then nominated by their respective followers. 
336 



ENUTE NELSON. 

The question as to which was the "regular" con- 
vention was the great controversy throughout the cam- 
paign. The Eepubliean state committee was finally ap- 
pealed to, and that body decided that Nelson was the 
"regular" nominee. The canvass which followed was 
intensely personal and exciting, and from July until 
November the battle raged. Conservative estimates 
placed Mr. Kindred's expenditures during the campaign 
at $150,000, a large sum of money for that period. No 
charges were preferred against Mr. Nelson, and his 
personal and political record was not impugned. Mr. 
Kindred was surely the most liberal and energetic 
political plunger yet seen in the West. Nelson was 
elected in November, the vote standing, Nelson, 16,956; 
Kindred, 12,238. E. P. Barnum, the Democratic nomi- 
nee, received 6,248 votes. Thus ended the most bitter 
and heated political contest the state ever had, but out 
of it Knute Nelson came with increasing prestige and 
promise for future advancement. Kindred is now a 
resident of Philadelphia, where by successful specula- 
tions he is said to have recouped his fortunes. If the 
•charges against him were true, he paid dearly for his 
venture in the uncertain sea of politics. 

Nelson served by re-elections in the Forty-eighth, 
Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth congresses. The House of 
^Representatives, during the time he was a member, was 
Democratic, and, being a Eepubliean, his influence was 
not great. He was a member of the Committee on In- 
dian Affairs. The most important legislation, while he 
22 337 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

was a member of the House, with which he was con- 
nected, was what is commonly known and designated in 
the Interior Department and in the courts as the "Nel- 
son Law," an act for the "Relief and Civilization of 
the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota." This legislation 
resulted in the cession of all their lands, except the 
White Earth and Red Lake Reservations, and in the 
adjustment of all their difficulties. 

Nelson took a very active part in securing the 
passage of the original "Inter-State Commerce" law. 
He also voted for the Morrison and Mills tariff meas- 
ures, which indicate his conviction as to the importance 
of a reduction of existing schedules, a position he has 
steadily maintained. 

In 1892 Knute Nelson, having declined a renomi- 
nation to Congress, received the high compliment of a 
unanimous nomination for governor of the state, by the 
Republican convention. This body met in St. Paul, 
July 28, 1892, with 709 delegates in attendance. One 
or two others had been mentioned as being probable 
candidates, but before the convention met they with- 
drew. This left Nelson without a competitor, the only 
instance of the kind in the history of that party in 
the state, except in the case of renominations. The 
Democrats nominated the Hon. Daniel W. Lawler, an 
able lawyer and eminent in the councils of his party. 
The People's Party nominated the Hon. Ignatius Don- 
nelly, a versatile politician, but singularly gifted. Hon. 
William J. Dean was also nominated by the Prohibit 

338 



KNUTE NELSON. 

tionists. Nelson received 109,220 votes; Lawler, 94,600; 
Donnelly, 39,862; and Dean, 12,239. This gave Nelson 
14,620 plurality over Lawler. 

In 1894 Governor Nelson was re-nominated by 
acclamation. Hon. George L. Becker was nominated 
by the Democrats, and Sidney M. Owen by the Popu- 
lists. Nelson received 147,943 votes; Becker, 53,584; 
Owen, 87,890; and Hans S. Hilleboe (Prohibitionist), 
6,832. Nelson lacked only 182 votes of obtaining a 
majority over all his competitors. The People's Party, 
however, was forging to the front, out-voting the Demo- 
crats by a decisive plurality. This was the largest vote 
ever polled in the state up to that time. 

A digression may be here permitted, to speak some- 
what fully of Ignatius Donnelly, who headed the Popu- 
list party in the campaign of 1892. This fickle and in- 
genious politician had now assumed a new role. He was 
the candidate of the Populists and endorsed by many 
Democrats, and his candidacy assumed an imposing ap- 
pearance. He made the canvass of the state with a 
ngor that was amazing and that threatened success. 
But there was a want of confidence in his sincerity. 
The crowd shouted at his ready wit and his incompar- 
able stories, but they went away and voted for the other 
man. The rugged honesty of Nelson was too much for 
him, and he was defeated by a large majority. 

Hon. Ignatius Donnelly was born in Philadelphia 
of full-blooded Irish parents. He was well educated in 

339 



GOVEENOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

that city. He early floated out to the West, and an- 
chored at Mninger, Minnesota. A lawyer by profession, 
he devoted himself to farming, politics, journalism, and 
general literature. 

He was twice lieutenant governor, and three times 
was elected to Congress. He was impatient for political 
preferment. If he had possessed the patience of C. K. 
Davis, who waited twelve years, and had been loyal to 
his party, he would have undoubtedly achieved the 
United States Senate, which was the goal of his ambi- 
tion. He worked in the Eepublican vineyard, when he 
deemed it profitable; then in the Democratic; then again 
in that of the Populists, — but always in Donnelly's 
plantation. He will be long remembered as the most 
meteoric of our political figures, a bewildering shooting 
star, whose orbit was a guess. 

As an orator, Donnelly was the darling of the 
crowd, sparkling, wayward, and incalculable. He seemed 
to possess the whole wide gamut of expression and emo- 
tion. His talent for attractive public speaking surely 
was not equalled by any of his contemporaries. Attrac- 
tive as he was in politics, he founded no school and 
never inaugurated a single policy. He was a destructive 
and not a constructive politician. He seemed to delight 
in smashing things for personal gain or notoriety. He 
played more to the galleries than to the common sense 
of the people. He possessed a warm imagination, a 
dramatic style, powerful invective, brilliant wit and hu- 
mor. He so often drew upon his imagination for his 

340 



KNUTE NELSON. 

facts that the public lost general confidence in his state- 
ments. He is pathetically remembered by many of us 
for what he could have done but failed to accomplish. 
In politics he was the chief mourner at his own funeral. 

As a journalist, he was proprietor and editor of the 
"Anti-Monopolist/' a paper abounding with his idiosyn- 
crasies, and flashing with pungent editorials. He used this 
weapon to attack his foes, rather than to establish 
sound public policies. His Parthian arrows flew in 
every direction. In due time this personal organ died. 

Besides his amateur farming, he possessed a thousand 
productive acres which he diligently plowed and sowed 
in his elegant library. 

His literary work was enormous. He could have 
become a grand literary luminary, had he wholly devoted 
his genius to his polished quill. It is the encomium of 
Donnelly that his general style was the best of any of 
our state writers, except it be Davis. His chef d'oeuvre 
is "Atlantis." He fairly proves that Plato's story of a 
lost island is not a fable but veritable history. The great 
Gladstone, in a personal autograph letter which I have 
read, said he believed that Donnelly had demonstrated 
his proposition. This book, the highest testimony of his 
genius, will be read by students and scholars for years to 
come. "Caesar's Column" is a remarkable novel, having 
charms and invention of a high order, and is yet read 
and will long survive on its merits. "Kagnarok" is the 
wild vagary of an imaginative but unscientific man. 



341 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

But the work into which he flung his whole soul and 
strength was "The Great Cryptogram/' in which he 
claimed to demonstrate that he had found in the Shake- 
spearean dramas a cipher proving that Bacon was their 
real author. These sibylline utterances are the very salt 
of Donnelly's erratic mind. This book, long expected, 
however consummate the ingenuity shown, and though 
he has piled, like a Titan, Pelion on Ossa, was an utter 
failure, and the world has willingly let it die. That which 
he proudly proclaimed as the monument of his pro- 
fundity, and genius, has proven the cenotaph of his liter- 
ary reputation. Although many able students believe 
that Francis Bacon was the author of the dramas and 
other works ascribed to Shakespeare, none probably would 
seek further to establish that theory by discovering cipher 
readings in those highest masterpieces of all literature. 

Donnelly's life, which early gave so much promise, 
was the failure of an unfulfilled career. He was baffled 
in all his great ambitions. It is true, however, that he 
was one of the first to fight trusts, combines, and spe- 
cial privileges, against which a determined war has now 
become the policy of both the great parties. 

With all his Utopian vagaries, we loved Donnelly. 
There was much in him to love and admire. He was gen- 
ial, warm-hearted, of a winning address and a clean 
private life. We plant the rose of remembrance on his 
neglected grave, though its petals shed more of censure 
than praise. 



342 



KNUTE NELSON. 

The period covered by Governor Nelson's adminis- 
tration was marked by a practical oversight of the condi- 
tion of the state and its public affairs. Upon his recom- 
mendation, laws were enacted of a prudential character 
and efficacy, affecting the grain and warehouse business, 
and remedying many evils in mining matters in the iron 
region, now so rapidly developing. 

A local event of most serious character occurred, 
which elicited public attention and sympathy. On the 
1st of September, 1894, a forest fire, lashed into fury by 
a high wind, totally destroyed Hinckley and eight other 
villages, swept to ruin the property of hundreds of farm- 
ers over a wide area, and destroyed four hundred lives. 
The fire ravaged a district with an area of nearly four 
hundred square miles. The promptness of Governor Nel- 
son, in appointing a commission of prominent and capable 
men to supervise a scheme of relief, was highly com- 
mended and appreciated by a sympathizing state. The 
Governor saw that everything possible was done to al- 
leviate the sufferings of those so suddenly afflicted. 

It was during Governor Nelson's administration that 
the New Capitol enterprise was undertaken. He appoin- 
ted the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, which 
was entrusted with the entire control of this great public 
enterprise and whose efforts were crowned with such re- 
markable success. 

The Governor's efforts in behalf of drainage of 
swampy tracts in the Eed Eiver Valley and in other parts 
of the state resulted in much advantage to agricultural 

343 



GOVE KNOBS OP MINNESOTA. 

interests, and that policy has since been pursued with 
the greatest public benefit. 

It was in the winter of 1895 that Governor Nelson 
was first a candidate for the Senate of the United States. 
Hon. William D. Washburn was the sitting senator, whose 
term was about to expire, and his successor was to be 
elected. Nelson was then governor. Washburn had been 
largely instrumental in defeating Senator D. M. Sabin 
in the winter of 1888, and had thus established a one 
term precedent. Governor Nelson was disposed to profit 
by this precedent. When the legislature was about to con- 
vene, petitions came to the members, asking that Gov- 
ernor Nelson be sent to the Senate. Soon it became ap- 
parent, from the action of his friends, that he was a 
candidate. Senator Washburn and his friends were slow 
to realize this fact. The bluff farmer from Alexandria 
appeared upon the scene with a good following. On Jan- 
uary 18th the regular caucus was held. Six ballots 
were had, and the sixth showed that Nelson was in the 
lead of all the candidates, having 66 votes to 55 for 
Washburn. An adjournment was then taken, nor was an- 
other caucus ever called; but the contest, by some sort 
of mutual, consent, was finished in the open legislative 
body. The vote being taken in that body, Nelson had 
102 votes, and Washburn had only 36. There were a 
few scattering votes of no importance in this contest. 
The result was not well received in Minneapolis, where 
Washburn was deservedly popular. 



344 



KNUTE NELSON. 

Thus was Governor Nelson, on the 23d of January, 
1895, in the beginning of his second term as governor, 
launched on his senatorial career. He took his seat 
in that illustrious body March 4, 1895, and there 
he has since remained. The wave from Scandinavia, and 
the hostility created by the fight against Sabin, proved 
too much for Senator Washburn and his friends. 

We are now to pursue the new senator's career in 
the most illustrious body in the world, the American 
Senate. He came there unheralded by any special previous 
reputation. He had been the first Scandinavian elected 
to the lower House of Congress, and now was the first 
to enter the Senate. His fitness for this high position 
was to be demonstrated by his own efforts. A descen- 
dant of those Vikings who were alternately peasants and 
pirates, he was of a sturdy and merry race. The heroes 
who followed Charles the Twelfth, who ravaged and con- 
quered Normandy, and carried victorious arms into Eng- 
land and Scotland, who planted their sturdy colonies on 
the coasts of Iceland and Greenland, and who had even 
left their monuments on the shores of New England, were 
of a blood full of courage and persistent power. With 
no finished education, with no claim to oratory, he was 
to hammer out on the anvil of patience and industry his 
fortunes and his fate. 

His course in the senate has vindicated his blood, and 
he has now become one of the leading senators in that 
body of distinguished men. Senator Beveridge, of In- 
diana, himself a classical scholar and a senator of high 

345 



GOVEKNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

repute, has pronounced Nelson "the nearest approach to 
an ideal senator." His unflagging patience, his industry, 
his tenacity of purpose, his good judgment coupled 
with good native ability and good common sense, have en- 
abled him to be credited with more important legisla- 
tion than any other senator Minnesota has yet had. A 
survey of his accomplishments will be a surprise even to 
his friends. 

To Senator Nelson is due the "creation of an entirely 
new executive department, with a cabinet officer, known 
as the "Department of Commerce and Labor." . The over- 
burdened condition of the Departments of the Interior 
and the Treasury, supervising matters wholly foreign to 
those offices, required that a transfer be made of many 
bureaus, not only to relieve them, but to place together 
in a new department matters that were homogeneous. 
The enormous growth of our manufacturing and com- 
mercial industries presented cogent reasons of themselves 
for the creation of the new department. The facts de- 
manding it were so clearly set forth, in a speech by Sen- 
ator Nelson, that the measure was adopted. Previous 
to this, only two new departments had been added to the 
government within a period of a hundred and eleven 
years. The Interior Department was created in 1849, 
and the Agricultural Department in 1889. 

There had come to be more potent reasons for pro- 
moting the development and supervision of our marvel- 
ously growing manufactures and commerce than for 
the existence of the other two mentioned. It not only 

346 



KNUTB NELSON. 

lightens the labor and responsibility of other over- 
burdened secretaries, but prevents duplication of labor, 
promotes unity of purpose, and gathers under one control 
kindred business. The entire credit of this belongs to 
Senator Nelson, and demonstrates the practical character 
of his mind in governmental affairs. 

The celebrated Bankruptcy Act of 1898 was- certainly 
his work. There has been much discussion over the pro- 
priety and advantage of this law to the public. It has 
been fiercely denounced and as earnestly defended. But 
the general concensus of opinion approves the original' 
purpose of this measure. Probably it has served its pur- 
pose and might now with justice be repealed. 

An important part of the Currency and Coinage law 
of 1900, permitting the establishment of banks with a 
capital of only $25,000, was due to Senator Nelson's in- 
fluence and earnest advocacy, and has been of vast 
benefit to the country. 

The law giving the government the right of appeal 
in certain instances, in criminal cases, was quite im- 
portant, and is credited to him. 

The very useful amendment to the Agricultural bill, 
known as the "Nelson Amendment," increasing the 
standing appropriation of $25,000 in aid of state agri- 
cultural colleges to $50,000 per annum, thus doubling 
the efficiency of those Land Grant Colleges, was highly 
appreciated by the friends of agriculture throughout the 
country. No public moneys devoted to any purpose 
have been more fruitful of good results than those granted 

347 



GOVE R NOES OF MINNESOTA. 

to the development of agriculture. Congratulatory let- 
ters from most of the presidents of those colleges, and 
resolutions from their boards of Begents, poured in on the 
senator, thanking him for securing a double amount for 
so important a purpose. And in our own state this op- 
portune assistance is already productive of the best re- 
sults. 

The Territory of Alaska is indebted to Senator Nel- 
son for no less than five important measures vitally 
affecting the development and prosperity of that great 
Northwest province. He has been a father to that won- 
derful land in the day of its urgent need. As a mem- 
ber of the Committee on Commerce, he was instrumental 
in securing many important laws relating to our ship- 
ping, merchant marine, and revenue cutter service. 

These and numerous other measures show the prac- 
tical character of his senatorial work. A more industri- 
ous man is not to be found in the senate chamber. That 
is the verdict of his brother senators, by whom he is 
held in the highest esteem. To the old soldiers he has 
indeed been a friend, and the hardships he himself en- 
dured as a private stimulated his sympathies in their 
behalf. While on the Pension Committee, he secured 
the passage of more pension bills for their relief than 
any other senator. 

That this plain and unassuming but earnest man, 
in the multitude of things which have pressed upon him 
in his busy life, has made some mistakes, is not to be 
denied. That his vigorous and decided manner has 

348 



KNUTE NELSON. 

made him some enmies, is to be admitted. But take him 
for all in all, as a public man, for the immense practical 
and valuable service he has rendered to the state and na- 
tion, there is not his equal in the Senate of the United 
States. His periods are not so classic as those of 
Davis, nor 'is he the equal of many of the great senators 
in oratorical art; but for practical and useful work, he 
sits in the front rank of the Patres Conscripti. His 
power does not lie in the direction of mere rhetoric. It 
is by untiring industry, united with good judgment and 
vigor of mind, that his power is manifest. He possesses 
that patient industry which no labor can weary. 

In the field of political conflict he has been a good 
fighter, for it came to him with his Viking blood. His 
party fealty has always been strong, though twice he 
voted for a modified tariff and still persistently main- 
tains that conviction, which policy, at no distant day, 
will doubtless become the prevailing faith of the nation. 
The staple of his discourse is facts, sound reasoning, 
and lucid argument. He never resorts to rhetoric or 
ornament. They are foreign to his nature. He therefore 
does not shake the walls of the senate with the thunders 
of majestic eloquence, as did Conkling, but he accom- 
plishes things. His earnestness and evident sincerity 
carry conviction. Such men shape the policies of the 
government and make its laws. 

He is adroit and sagacious in political battle, fer- 
tile in expedients, and bold in council; and though in 
the beginning he fought behind the breastworks of a 

349 



GOVERNORS OE MINNESOTA. 

large body of Scandinavian supporters, he now stands 
firmly on his own personal merits and what he has 
achieved. 

In no country in the world, except the United 
States, could this orphaned Norwegian boy have arisen 
from friendless obscurity to the eminent position of sen- 
atorial dignity he now occupies. * It must warm the 
cockles of his heart into the glow of a romantic patriot- 
ism, which makes him more American than if the lines 
of his lineage led to the very rock of the Pilgrim Fa- 
thers, or if an ancestor had been slain at Bunker Hill. 
He fully appreciates the generosity, the fairness, and the 
kindness of the American people, and the liberality of 
our system of government, as exemplified in his case. 
By his own tireless industry, he has reaped the reward 
of his golden opportunities. 

He always seems to us like a man who has read 
and understands by experience Longfellow's "Psalm of 
Life/' 

"Life is real, life is earnest." 

To him life has been an earnest reality. He does 
not regard this earth as a mere scene of revelry, but as 
an arena of contest where only brave spirits can win 
"in the world's broad field of battle." That lyric ex- 
presses, in the happiest and briefest way, what aspiring 
spirits so often feel, and the song comes as a spur to 
drooping energy and inspires* glowing hopes of the fu- 
ture. 

350 



KNUTE 1ST ELS OK 

In private life Senator Nelson is one of the most 
amiable of men, beloved by his friends and family. His 
manners are free from all affectation. He has no ap- 
petite for what is called "society" in Washington, but 
devotes himself to his public duties and to his family. 
He has purchased a modest house in Washington, where 
. he resides during the sessions of Congress, but spends 
his summers on his homestead at Alexandria. 

He has occupied many positions of public trust and 
honor confided to him as a citizen competent to look af- 
ter the general welfare. In 1880 he was designated as 
a presidential elector. He was appointed, by Governor 
Hubbard, as a member of the Board of Eegents of the 
State University, and served from February 1, 1882, 
to January 1, 1893. 

Senator Nelson was married in Madison, Wisconsin, 
previous to his removal to Minnesota. There were born 
to this marriage five children. Three of these died in 
early childhood, at Alexandria, of diphtheria in 1874. 
One son, Henry K. Nelson, died in Colorado in 1908. 
The only surviving child, his daughter, Ida, lives with 
her father and mother at their residence in Washington 
City. 



The inaugural address of Governor Nelson, January 
4, 1893, was published as a pamphlet of thirteen pages, 
and as the second paper (pages 33-45) in Volume I 
of the Executive Documents of Minnesota for 1892 



351 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

(Minneapolis, 1893). He spoke in praise of the State 
University, as follows: 

In the field of education Minnesota occupies high and ad- 
vanced grounds at all points. Our State University has within 
the last ten years grown beyond all precedent in quality, scope 
and numbers, and today ranks as one of the leading educa- 
tional institutions of our country, to which we can all look 
with pride and admiration. In 1882 the total attendance of 
students was 253. In 1892 the number had reached 1,374. And 
during 1893 the number will exceed 1,500. Departments of 
law and medicine have been established and are in most suc- 
cessful operation. There were 453 law and medical students 
in attendance in 1892, and in 1893 the number will no doubt 
reach, if not exceed, 600. The fees charged students in these 
departments are nearly sufficient to pay the salaries of all the 
instructors, and will in the near future be more than ample 
for this purpose. Perhaps nothing pertaining to the progress 
and growth of the University has been more marked and orig- 
inal than the establishment of a school of practical agricul- 
ture, giving special instruction in all that pertains to the 
theory and practice of agriculture, in all its branches. In 
connection with this school and as a part thereof, is a dairy 
hall ample and well equipped, in which instruction is given in 
the theory and practice of cheese and butter making by an 
expert instructor. This school has been well patronized by the 
sons of our farmers. * * * 

Nelson's biennial message, delivered January 9, 
1895, was published as a pamphlet of twenty-three 
pages, and also as the first paper (pages 17-39) in Vol- 
ume I; Executive Documents of Minnesota for 1894 
(St. Paul, 1895). Among many other subjects, he spoke 
thus of the Itasca State Park: 

The legislature of 1891 acted wisely and with rare good 
judgment when it established this park. Itasca lake and its 
preservation is sacred and dear to every American heart. The 
lake and all its beautiful environment should, as far as pos- 
sible, be kept intact in its primitive and normal condition; and 
in order to accomplish this, the lands in private ownership 
should, as speedily as possible, be acquired by the state. 
* * * I commend this subject to your favorable considera- 
tion and recommend that you appropriate sufficient funds to 
acquire these lands by purchase or condemnation. 

352 



KNUTE NELSON. 

On legislation in the interest of labor, he said: 

Recent labor strikes, prolonged and extensive, strongly sug- 
gest the importance of enacting suitable laws for the concilia- 
tion or arbitration of disputes between capital and labor, in 
some tribunal or before some board designated by law. In- 
asmuch as both capital and labor have the undoubted right 
to make a peaceable strike, compulsory arbitration is not 
warranted and would be unwise. But in most cases, if a pro- 
per tribunal with judicious safeguards were provided, capital 
and labor would both be disposed to voluntarily submit their 
controversies to arbitration. And the tide of public opinion 
would, in such cases, not only impel the parties into such a 
court, but would make its decrees respected and obeyed. He 
who would refuse to arbitrate, or, having submitted to arbi- 
tration, would refuse to accept the result, would forfeit all 
public approval and would, in the outcome and in one form or 
another, have to submit. 

In the presence of so much idle labor needing the assis- 
tance of public and private charity, it would be proper to con- 
sider the wisdom of giving our various municipalities more en- 
larged powers to raise and expend funds in the construction 
of water-works, sewerage, streets, parks, electric lights and 
other essential urban facilities, to the end that such public 
improvements could be made in a manner to afford labor to 
those who without such labor would have to rely on charity 
of some kind for their support. The object of such legisla- 
tion should not be to authorize needless improvement, but to 
give the needy unemployed the preference in obtaining muni- 
cipal work, which they do not have under the ordinary con- 
tract system. 

The following speeches by Nelson were published 
.as pamphlets: 

Interstate Commerce, a speech in the House of 
Representatives in Congress, January 19, 1887; thirteen 
pages. 

Tariff Keform, a speech in the House of Representa- 
tives, March 29, 1888; eighteen pages. 

Speech, on Political Issues, to farmers of the Red 
River Valley, delivered at Argyle, Minnesota, July 28, 
1894; sixteen pages. 



23 



353 



GOVEENOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

An Adverse Balance of Trade, and not the Green- 
back, is the Cause of large Gold Withdrawal, speech in 
the Senate of the United States, December 31, 1895; 
eight pages. 

Immigration, one of the Chief Factors in the Bapid 
Growth and Development of the Country, speech in the 
Senate, May 14, 1896; eighteen pages. 

On the Injustice of a Ten Dollar Head Tax on Im- 
migrants, speech in the Senate, December 17, 1896; four 



Uniform System of Bankruptcy, speech in the Sen- 
ate, April 8, 1897; twenty-four pages. 

Issue of $150,000,000 Additional Treasury Notes, 
and the Teller Besolution to coin Silver Dollars on Pri- 
vate Account and pay the National Bonds with them,, 
speeches in the Senate of the United States, January 29,, 
and May 27, 1898, fourteen pages. 

Affairs in Cuba, speech in the Senate April 16,. 
1898; eight pages. 

Bemarks on the Bankruptcy Bill, in the Senate,. 
June 24, 1898; eight pages. 

Speech, on National Questions, delivered at Hallock, 
Minnesota, September 19, 1898; sixteen pages. 

The Eight to Acquire and Govern Additional Terri- 
tory, speech in the Senate, January 20, 1899; twenty- 
four pages. 



354 



KNUTE NELSON. 

Speech, on the Spanish War and the Philippine 
Islands, delivered at Alexandria, Minnesota, September 1, 
1900; sixteen pages. 

The Philippines; the Constitutional Power of Leg- 
islation, possessed by Congress, and the Limitations upon 
such Power, speech in the Senate, February 20, 1902; 
twenty pages. 

Speech on the Statehood Bill of Oklahoma, Arizona, 
and New Mexico, in the Senate, January 5-8 and 12-13, 
1903; thirty-three pages. 

Speech on the Statehood Bill of Oklahoma and the 
Indian Territory and of New Mexico and Arizona, in 
the Senate, January 4 and 5, 1905; fourteen pages. 

Railway Rate Legislation; the Duties and Powers 
of Congress in the premises, speech in the Senate, Marcu 
15, 1906; twenty-three pages. 

The Railway Rate Bill is not Unconstitutional, 
speech in the Senate, April 2, 1906; seven pages. 

Regulation of Railroad Rates, speech in the Senate, 
May 3, 1906; eight pages. 

Protect Depositors and Keep Reserves at Home, 
the True Remedy for Panics, speech in the Senate, Feb- 
ruary 26, 1908 ; twenty-three pages. 



355 




DAVID M. CLOUGH 



DAVID MARSTON CLOUGH 

Thirteenth Governor of the State of 
Minnesota, was born in Lyme, New 
Hampshire, December 27, 1846. He 
was a prominent lumberman in Minne- 
sota, and now in the state of Washing- 
ton. He was governor of Minnesota 
from January 31, 1895, to January 2, 
1899. 



DAVID MARSTON CLOUGH 

THIRTEENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF 
MINNESOTA 

January 31, 1895, to January 2, 1899 



THE gubernatorial rose which has been placed on the 
breast of sixteen chosen citizens of Minnesota, is 
something to covet, something worthy of ambition, a 
decoration which carries honor. These histories are not 
the cenotaph of a party; they are the reflected charac- 
ter of the people of the state. These governors have 
not been the petted children of good fortune. They are, 
in a large measure, the express image of the people or 
some powerful class of them: 

Sibley represented the border barons, the daring 
men who controlled in the barbarian days of the terri- 
tory. Miller and Marshall represented the martial 
spirit of the Civil War. Austin personated the rising 
judicial force, silently at work in its influence. Pills- 
bury represented the general business industries of the 
state. Nelson was a stalwart type of the Norse element 
which has become powerful H its influence. Lind em- 
bodied the political unrest which, from a variety of 
causes, permeated the public mind at that period. 
Clough was the ideal lumberman, of an interest which 

359 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

comprised many strong men who were always active, 
vigilant, and assertive. 

A further glance shows how class interests have con- 
trolled. The first group which dominated our territory 
was the great fur traders, the brawniest of men, who 
were represented by such intrepid spirits as Bamsay 
Crooks, Bobert Stuart, Charles Oakes, Charles W. W. Bor- 
up, Clement H. Beaulieu, and Allan Morrison. These 
were followed by Henry H. Sibley and Henry M. Bice. 
But the power of the fur traders gradually melted away be- 
fore the advent of new interests. With rapid growth and 
population came the lumber barons. Pine became the 
synonym of wealth and power. These, with the Palls 
of St. Anthony as an operating center, held sway over 
every pine-fringed stream and lake that flowed from 
the North, and with their virile force floated into the 
politics of the state. There was Dorilus Morrison, 
Loren Fletcher, the Pillsburys, the Washburns, the Walk- 
ers, and John Martin. 

There were also in the lumber business such strong 
companies as Nelson Tenney and Co., E. W. Backus and 
Co., C. A. Smith and Co., H. C. Akeley and Co., Shevlin 
and Carpenter, the Bovey Lumber Co., Merriman and 
Barrows, Farnham and Lovejoy, and L. Day and Sons. 
Such men created a formidable array of competitors, 
and among them Clough had to battle his way. 

But in the process of years their power, like thai 
of the fur barons, has been dissolved by the destruction 
of the great pine forests which are rapidly being 

360 



DAVID MARS TON CLOUGH. 

eaten up by the greed of commerce. And now ap- 
pears upon the scene a new and wonderful interest. 
Two rivers of iron pursue their sinuous way through 
the mighty masses of eruptive rocks in northern Min- 
nesota, long secreted by a covering of soil and great 
forests, but recently uncovered, exposing fabulous 
wealth. To these deposits of wealth people have come, 
and towns and cities have sprung up, as with the ma- 
gic of Aladdin's lamp. This interest, too, evinces a 
passion for power, and will yet claim its day in the po- 
litical arena. Their moneyed hand is already felt in 
moulding things. Thus do class interests appear in the 
shifting political kaleidoscope of our state. Agriculture, 
the basis of all other prosperity, as a class interest, 
alone has never had its representation in the executive 
chair. 

David Marston Clough was born in Lyme, New 
Hampshire, December 27, 1846. His father, Elbridge 
G. Clough, was a lumberman, and so David came to his 
life avocation by inheritance. 

The Clough family was of Welsh origin, and all 
were farmers and lumbermen by pursuit. The oldest 
son of the family, Gilbert, served with honor for three 
years in the Civil War in Company A of the Eighth 
Minnesota Infantry. 

David had very limited educational opportunities. 
His attendance at the district school was very irreg- 
ular. From early years he had to work on the farm 
in summer, and in the winter he generally went to the 

361 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

pineries. His chances were not very great in a fam- 
ily of fourteen children. Good inducements were 
held out to prevail upon the family to remove to the far 
West. In 1855 they removed to Waupaca, Wisconsin, 
where, however, they remained but two years. The fame 
of the Minnesota pineries was sufficiently attractive to 
induce another hegira, and in July, 1857, the entire 
family removed to Spencer Brook, Isanti county, Min- 
nesota. 

At the age of twenty, David felt it his duty to seek 
employment for himself and relieve the large family of 
some of the burden of support. He went to Minnea- 
polis, where he found his first employer in the person 
of Henry F. Brown. He drove a team and sawed logs. 
He was thus engaged for about four years, and carefully 
saved his money. He then formed a partnership with 
his older brother Gilbert, under the firm name of Clough 
Brothers, and, returning to the pineries of the Eum 
river and the northern Mississippi, they actively en- 
gaged in lumbering. In 1888 his brother Gilbert died, 
and David assumed sole control of the business, which 
by their activity had grown to large proportions. Its 
importance for that period is shown by the fact that 
they employed a capital of half a million dollars, and 
handled in a single year more than 15,000,000 feet of 
lumber. 

Up to the time of their partnership, the Clough 
brothers lived at Spencer Brook, Isanti county. In 
1872, however, business still increasing, the firm re- 

362 



DAVID MAKSTON CLOUGH. 

moved to Minneapolis. D. M. Clough took up his resi- 
dence on the east side, where he remained as long as he 
lived in Minnesota. They were early recognized as one of 
the substantial firms at the Falls. When Gilbert died, 
David brought his younger brothers to his aid. They 
now handled millions of feet of pine, and established a 
high reputation both as lumbermen and as business men. 
During these years the activities of D. M. Clough 
were very great. He has been a Eepublican from his 
very boyhood, and was an active worker for the party 
of his choice in all caucuses and conventions. From 
1883 to 1887 he was a member of the Minneapolis city 
council, and he was president of that body for one term. 
In 1886 his party activity was recognized, and he was 
elected to the state senate and was re-elected in 1888 
and 1890. In 1891 he was chosen president of the Min- 
nesota State Agricultural Society, and by his zeal and in- 
fluence he put that important institution on its feet fin- 
ancially so that it became a great success. His ambition 
and prominence as a party worker made him more and 
more a leader. In 1892 he was nominated for the office 
of lieutenant governor, with the Hon. Knute Nelson as 
his running mate for governor. Again in 1894 he, with 
Governor Nelson, was renominated by acclamation for 
the same office. In January, 1895, Nelson was elected 
to the United States senate, and Clough succeeded to 
the office of governor. Certainly no man not possessed 
of talent and tact could, in so short a time, with but lit- 



363 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

tie education, have vaulted from the pineries of tb» a 
North into the gubernatorial chair. 

Governor Clough served through the remainder of 
Governor Nelson's term, which was two years lacking one 
month. He then became a candidate himself before 
the Republican convention of 1896. At one time he was 
threatened with very material opposition in his own 
county. The bluff ways of the somewhat rough and 
decided Mississippi lumberman were not wholly agreeable 
to quite a number of the citizens of Minneapolis. One 
of the leading Republican journals took an active part 
in inspiring the opposition. But a few months later 
the opposition lost its force, and Clough received the 
solid support of the Hennepin delegation in the state 
Republican convention. His chief opponent in the cam- 
paign was John Lind, a bright and able man, who pos- 
sessed great strength among his own nationality, the 
Swedes. The result was 165,806 votes for Clough; and 
for Lind, Democrat, 162,254 votes; for William J. Dean, 
Prohibitionist, 5,154; for A. A. Ames, Independent, 
2,890; and for W. B. Hammond, Socialist, 1,125 votes. 
In all aspects the result was quite a triumph for Clough. 
He was now governor in his own right, and he exercised 
its functions with a firm and decided hand. He was 
a little careless of his dignity, but his manners were 
open and frank. 

A careful review of his messages exhibits a sen- 
sible and practical knowledge of the condition of the 
state. His administration came after a very depressing 

364 



DAVID MAR ST ON CLOUGH. 

financial revulsion which for three years had operated 
to obstruct progress. But better days soon followed. 

It was during the Clough period that we had the 
war between the United States and Spain. He organ- 
ized and equipped four Minnesota regiments for that 
service, the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fif- 
teenth. The mustering of these regiments reminded the 
people of the days of the Civil War. They were mus- 
tered in April 29, 1898, just thirty-seven years latei 
than the First regiment of the Civil War. The duties 
of the governor, in all matters pertaining to the organ- 
ization of these Spanish war troops, were well and 
faithfully done. 

It was also during this period, in October, 1898, 
that, by a blunder serious in its character, the general 
government sent a small and insufficient body of troops 
to Leech Lake, in this state, to overawe and suppress 
an outbreak of the Pillager Indians, which led to the 
death of a number of brave and noble-hearted men. 
The governor was constrained to call out such state 
troops as were available, which gave confidence to the set- 
tlers and prevented other bands of Indians from joining 
in the hostilities about Leech Lake. It was in this out- 
break that the gallant and true-hearted Major M. C. 
Wilkinson of the Third United States Infantry was 
cruelly shot while in the line of patriotic duty. 

It was charged against Clough that he was the choice 
of an alleged political ring which had controlled state 
politics for many years. "Machine rule" was the cry. But 

365 



GOVERNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

in the lapse -of year^we observe that one "ring" succeeds 
another, and one "machine" is followed by another. 
It was not the people who were suffering, but the hun- 
gry "outs" were shouting to get in. It is always amus- 
ing, in the retrospect, to see these fierce battles fading 
away into nothingness; yet, when they are on, they roast 
each other as on a gridiron. 

If Clough had his personal faults, his capacity and 
integrity must be acknowledged. Think of an un- 
trained boy of twenty, reared amid the pines and birches 
of the frozen North, with but a limited education, 
appearing at the Falls of St. Anthony, drinking in the 
measureless possibilities of those mighty waters, and 
thence forward, with restless and unpausing energy, el- 
bowing his way among files of brainy and forceful men. 
Soon he was a manufacturing power, then councilman, 
senator, lieutenant governor, and governor. These things 
are not done without ability, courage, ambition, tact, ca- 
pacity. He won his way over a score of notable contes- 
tants, and just and final history must hand him the sig- 
net of honorable success. He had earnest ways of his 
own, and when things went wrong it moved the foun- 
tains of his indignation and awakened the energies of his 
invective. We admit he was not a master in literature, 
not a student of Shakespeare or Milton. But from what 
one of our governors could you collect a nosegay of li- 
terary gems, save Davis. Our executives are not a gal- 
lery of literary luminaries. They were mostly practical 



366 



DAVID MABSTON CLOUGH. 

and earnest men, representing their times and the peo- 
ple. 

We endeavor to make clear to our readers the per- 
sonalities of the men concerning whom they have been 
reading. We try to marshall these men, as in a gallery, 
that we may see those who have moved the political wheel 
and shaped the policies of the state. We trust we are 
absolutely non-partisan, depicting Eepublicans and Demo- 
crats alike, without affection or favor. We regard two 
parties as a necessity for furthering the public good. 
Systematic opposition prevents mischief and keeps the 
machine of state in the better path. The captains of 
the two great parties are often equally honorable, and 
equally worthy of consideration. We seldom do jus- 
tice but to the dead. Contemporary jealousy of one 
person or another attacks the reputation of living men. 

There was an innate force of character that lifted 
Clough above his fellow lumbermen. * He had ambition, 
backed by energy. He possessed a personality which is 
quite indefinable. But he had it. It was in part the 
secret of his triumph as a politician. There are pri- 
vates and there are captains in business and in politics. 
Clough would not consent to be a private. The person- 
ality of a man is a prodigious factor in his success. Just 
what the units of Clough's personality were, it is not easy 
to say. Clough had a good smile. It recalls what a 
Nebraska farmer said about Mark Hanna. When he 
heard him speak, he said, "I have changed my mind. 



367 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

You can't make me believe that Hanna is a bad man. 
Why, he's got a smile that will grease a wagon/' 

Men who sought to change Governor Clough's 
mind were often disappointed. He had a will of his 
own, and it generally worked in a good direction. The 
least common thing is common sense. But Clough had 
his share of that golden commodity. We remember an 
old minister who was wont to say that if you wanted 
learning, if you wanted even the grace of God, if you 
wanted anything else, in short, you might get it; but 
if you wanted common v sense, you would never get it. 
"The finest culture will not compensate for its ab- 
sence." 

There is one point in Governor Clough's political 
history for which, as a politician and party man, he is 
surely censurable. He used his influence to defeat the 
Hon. William H. Eustis, who was the candidate of the 
Republican party for the succession. He himself had en- 
joyed the benefits of party discipline, and he should not 
have permitted his personal likes and dislikes to defeat 
his own party, to whom he owed what he was. 

When Clough left the executive chair, even in one 
month thereafter, he could no longer restrain his old in- 
stincts, ways, and habits. The "Call of the Wild" came 
upon him, and on the shores of the Pacific, at Everett, 
Washington, he has returned to his first love, perhaps 
heeding the suggestion of Bryant in Thanatopsis, 
"Or lose thyself in the continuous woods, 
Where rolls the Oregon." 
368 



DAVID MAKSTQN CLOUGH. 

Amid those mighty monarehs, the redwood forests, 
he is at home again. He, who with his axe, in youth, 
invaded the primeval forests of Minnesota, is now, with 
riper age, and vast experience, achieving a greater vic- 
tory on the shores of the Pacific. With his axe he has 
written the epic of the forests. 

Under the firm name of the "Clark-Mckerson Lum- 
ber Company ," he is engaged in the manufacture of 
band-sawed fir lumber, on a very extensive scale, and 
all sorts of white pine lumber. Their properties lie 
near Everett, in the state of Washington, and at that 
place, in 1900, they erected one of the most complete 
lumbering plants in the United States, if not in the 
world. This great mill is located at tide-water and on 
the railroad, with a view to catering to both the car 
and cargo trade. The plant is built on piles so that 
ocean-going vessels of the deepest draught can lie along- 
side and receive their loads at their private docks. They 
saw timbers to the amazing length of 120 feet. It is 
said that the quality of their lumber is unexcelled on 
the Pacific coast. 

Governor Clough is now in full charge of the enor- 
mous business, and his extensive experience gives him a 
personal knowledge of the specialty not excelled, perhaps, 
by any other man in the country. They make shipments 
to South Africa, South America, Honolulu, Australia, 
Mexico, and California, by water, and to the Atlantic 
coast and all intermediate points, by rail. He is again 



24 



369 



GOVEKNOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

the man of business, and polities and the governorship 
are but a dream of the past. 

In April, 1868, Governor Clough was married to 
Miss Addie Barton, of Spencer Brook, Minnesota. The 
young people had known each other from childhood, ae 
their parents had been neighbors, and both came with 
their families when they removed to the West. To this 
union one child was born, Nina, now Mrs. E. H. 
Hartley. They are now living at Everett, Washington, 
where Colonel Hartley is one of the stockholders of the 
Clark-Mckerson Lumber Company. Of the fourteen 
children of Governor Clouglr's father's family, seven of 
whom were boys and seven girls, eight are now liv- 
ing. 



The biennial message of Governor Clough to the 
legislature, January 6, 1897, was published as a pamph- 
let of twenty-four pages, and also as the first paper 
(pages 25-48) of Volume I of the Executive Docu- 
ments of Minnesota for 1896 (St. Paul, 1897). In this 
message he said, in part: 

The educational •interests of the state have materially ad- 
vanced during the past two years, notwithstanding the pre- 
vailing stagnation of, business. In every county there is shown 
an increase in school enrollment, average attendance, and ex- 
penditure for school purposes. * * * The increase in aver- 
age attendance is the most hopeful sign, showing that the 
object for which our people tax themselves to support schools 
is being attained to *an increasing extent. 



The superintendent also recommends that a Minnesota Day 
for our public schools be established — a day which shall be 
specially devoted to teaching the history of the early discovery 

370 



DAVID MAKSTON CLOUGH. 

and settlement of the state, the heroic deeds of the sons of 
Minnesota on the frontier and on the field of war, and also 
to impart a knowledge of the resources of the state and a 
respect and love for its institutions. I concur in this recom- 
mendation, and add a further suggestion that the legislature 
appropriate annually a small sum of money, $100 or $200, to 
be expended under the joint authority of the superintendent 
of public instruction and state historical society for prizes 
to be distributed among the students of our high schools for 
essays upon topics of Minnesota interest. 



During the past few years many factors have conspired 
in all parts of the United States to develop a great popular 
interest in the subject of good roads. Everywhere there is an 
appreciation of the need for and value of such roads. Men of 
all classes perceive that the continued prosperity of the state, 
and especially of the agricultural sections, demands the early 
adoption of efficient measures for improving the condition of 
our highways. The main question before us for settlement at 
this time involves the choice of the best methods for advancing 
this desirable end. I would recommend the adoption of some 
system of county roads with limited state aid. * * * 

Minnesota ,was one of the first, if not the first state in 
the Union, to place upon the statute book a law seeking to 
regulate the hours of all labor and to restrict that of women 
and children. That first law of 1858 was followed later by 
the adoption of certain provisions of the penal code relating 
to the employment of children. The legislature of 1895 adopted 
a child labor law that in most of its provisions placed Minne- 
sota in advance of any of her sister commonwealths. Through 
the instrumentality of the bureau of labor, this law has been 
made most effective, and by methods that have developed 
practically no friction or opposition. The labor of children 
under sixteen years of age has been lessened in factories one- 
half and that in stores nearly one-third. The average age at 
which our youth begin to toil in stores and factories has been 
increased fully one year. Those who have studied the evils 
of modern child labor can but rejoice at the good results thus 
accomplished. * * * 

dough's second biennial message, delivered January 
4, 1899, at the end of his administration as governor, 
was published in twenty pages as a pamphlet, and also 
the second paper (pages 17-36) in the first volume of the 
Executive Documents for 1898, (St. Paul, 1899). Of 

371 



GOVERKOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

the Spanish-American war and the services of regiments 
from this state, he said: 

The year just brought to a close has chronicled the open- 
ing and closing of a war between the United States and the 
kingdom of Spain. The citizens of Minnesota, in all stations 
and callings, showed their loyalty to our common country and 
their readiness to give health, strength and life itself in its 
service. The willingness to do and to dare, to suffer and not 
complain, on the part of our four Minnesota regiments, is 
proof that the spirit of 1776 and of 1861 has not yet departed 
from th^ land and from our state. Our brave boys of the 
Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Regiments have, 
under mo3t trying circumstances, proved themselves worthy 
sons and successors to the brave members of the First Minne- 
sota who withstood Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, and to the 
equally brave men of the other Minnesota Regiments who faced 
death on the numerous battlefields of the Civil War. The 
state, honored by their services and by their patience under 
the most trying circumstances, is ready to honor its volunteers, 
from the humblest private in the ranks up through all the 
various grades of officers to the distinguished soldier and 
statesman whom its citizens have now elected to be chief 
magistrate. It will also honor the noble and- self-sacrificing 
women who organized the forces of human kindness in the 
homes of the land and made them effective for ministering to 
and comforting those sick, wounded and dying in camp, or in 
hospital, or on the bloody field of battle. 



372 




JOHN LIND. 



JOHN L I N D 

Fourteenth Governor of the State of 
Minnesota, was born in Kanna, Sweden, 
March 25, 1854. He came to the United 
States, with his parents, when thirteen 
years of age, and has ever since resided 
in Minnesota. He became a lawyer, 
and was a Representative in Congress in 
1887-1893, and again in 1903-1905. He 
was governor of Minnesota from Jan- 
uary 2, 1899, to January 7, 1901. 



JOHN LIND 



FOURTEENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF 
MINNESOTA 

January 2, 1899, to January 7, 1901 



WE have been gazing on the likenesses of our 
governors, as they stand ranged in the gallery 
of the state, representing the unbroken edict of one 
party for forty years, to whose express commands they 
had yielded inviolate obedience. We now approach the 
period when dissent appears. There were not, at first, 
radical differences, but the wedge entered and real dis- 
sensions on public questions began to manifest themselves. 
The silver question, as taught by William Jennings 
Bryan, came rapidly upon the heels of the tariff, 
revision doctrine so earnestly maintained, for many years, 
by many able men of both parties. These questions mar- 
shaled themselves against the established order, and 
boldly challenged the country for a hearing. 

The stalwart Eepublicans were always lukewarm re- 
formers. There was, however, a spirit abroad among the 
people which would no longer suffer party leaders to 
make up their opinions for them, as doctors do the 
prescriptions their patients are to take. The result of 
the gubernatorial election in 1896, when Clough, the 

375 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

stalwart Republican candidate, was elected by the di- 
minished majority of 3,552, foreshadowed a weakening 
in Republican ranks. 

There was at this time as remarkable a man, as 
a politician, as any man we have yet had in Min- 
nesota. Born in the humblest station, with a compara- 
tively limited education, he raised himself by his talents 
and industry to a controlling position in the affairs 
of the state. To John Lind belongs the unique distinc- 
tion of being the first to break through the Republican 
ranks and assert a new regime. He had thus made 
an enduring mark for himself in our political history. 

There is in every strong life a certain personal force 
and power, a tenacity of purpose, and individuality of 
character, which make it assertive, confident, aggressive. 
This sort of a personality was possessed by John Lind.. 
He was fortunate in the time of his separation from 
his party, for the conditions were opportune. Party- 
infidelities were creeping in. Then behind him, as a 
positive force, was the racial potency which was al- 
ready consolidating and hardening into a cohesive mass, 
then and afterward to be thrown into the personal 
political scale without much reference to issues. Tha.t 
Mr. Lind did not consider this element in his separa- 
tion from his party, would be to charge him with 
lack of sagacity to appreciate the situation. We find no 
fault with Lind on account of his shifting his politics. 
Rather the more we admire him for his manly and in- 
dependent stand, presuming his changed political convic- 

376 



JOHN LIND. 

tions properly rested upon his judgment and con- 
science. 

John Lind was born in the Parish of Kanna, 
Province of Smaland, Sweden, March 25, 1854. His 

forefathers were farmers, freemen, owning the soil they 
tilled. Family tradition says they had lived there from 
years immemorial. The older men on both sides had 
always been identified with the administration of com- 
munal affairs and as peace officers. They were neither 
wealthy nor poor. Their record for character was with- 
out stain. They were proud of their standing, and re- 
sented an insult with a promptitude that commanded res- 
pect. This was particularly true of his maternal grand- 
father, Jonas Jonason. He was a "deacon," and also 
a peace officer. In the latter capacity, it is said 
chat his judgments were often enforced with his good 
right arm. 

John's father was born April 11, 1826, and died 
August 11, 1895. His mother was born April 26, 1831, 
and is now living at Winthrop, Sibley county, Minnesota. 
She is now, at the ripe age of seventy-seven, a well-pre- 
served woman. Intellectually, she was never brighter or 
stronger than she is at this time. The mother is a re- 
markable woman. She had the full religious training 
given to the parish children. In this country, she 
joined the Methodist church in 1883, of which she is a 
consistent and devout member, and can defend her 
faith with the best. She has always been a great 
reader, reading English well. She possesses a vigorous 

377 



GOVEENOKS OP MINNESOTA. 

and logical mind, cogent in reasoning, and is a fine con- 
versationalist. She is, withal, an excellent farmer. She 
directs the work and management of her four hundred 
eighty acre farm, with as much judgment and enthusiasm 
as any of her neighbors. At the end of each year she 
generously distributes the surplus of her annual income 
among. her grandchildren. This brave and noble woman 
has, beyond question, transmitted some of her traits to 
her distinguished son. 

In 1867, incited by the stories of American oppor- 
tunities, the family immigrated to the United States, 
and, following a popular tide, settled in Goodhue county, 
Minnesota. When the family located there, John was 
thirteen years old. Soon afterward he began work in 
a sawmill, in which he lost his left hand by an acci- 
dent. This was probably not altogether a misfortune, 
for it compelled an immediate abandonment of Jabor 
for intellectual pursuits, and thus directed his des- 
tiny to higher spheres of action. 

At once he entered the great American college, the 
common school, and by assiduous attention to his op- 
portunities, at the early age of sixteen, lie was granted a 
certificate entitling him to teach in the public schools. 
His first venture was in Sibley county, where he taught 
one year. He then removed to New Ulm. By hard work 
and study in a local law office, and with the exercise of 
close economy, he was able to enter the university of the 
state in 1875. Here he continued a studious career for 
one year, when he was able to pass the examination 

378 



JOHN LIND. 

required to be admitted to the bar as a lawyer, in 1877. 
He had a limited practice, and in the meantime he was 
elected superintendent of the schools of Brown county, 
which position he held for two years. In 1881 he 
was appointed, by President Garfield, receiver of the 
United States land office at Tracy, in Lyon county. 

He by no means abandoned his law practice in New 
Ulm, for he was devoted to his profession. His legal 
ability now began to be recognized in that portion of 
the state, and he won increasing reputation by his suc- 
cess in some important cases against the railroad com- 
panies. He was very active in politics at this period, 
and was an energetic worker in the Eepublican party. 

In 1886 he was nominated for Congress as a Ee- 
publican in the Second District of Minnesota, succeed- 
ing Hon. James B. Wakefield. The district at that time 
was very large, embracing twenty counties, — in fact, 
it included all of southwestern Minnesota. The political 
campaign was a very active one, being the year in 
which Dr. A. A. Ames, of Minneapolis, a Democrat, 
came near defeating A. B. McGill, Eepublican, for gov- 
ernor. Lind made a very active canvass and was elec- 
ted by a majority of 9,648. His Democratic competi- 
tor was A. H. Bullis, of Faribault county. 

Two years later, in 1888, he was again nominated, 
and his opponent (Democrat) was Hon. Morton S. Wil- 
kinson, formerly ' Republican United States senator from 
Minnesota. Lind was elected by a majority of 9,219 

over Wilkinson. 

i 

379 



GOVEENOES OF MINNESOTA. 

Again in 1890 Lind was nominated as the Be- 
publican candidate for Congress. His opponent was 
Gen. James H. Baker, of Blue Earth county. General 
Baker was nominated as the Alliance candidate, and re- 
ceived the votes of the Democratic party, who made no 
nomination. Lind received 20,788 votes; Baker, 20,306, 
leaving Lind a plurality of 482. The Prohibitionists 
also had a ticket in the field. Ira B. Eeynolds was 
their candidate, who received 1,146 votes. This left 
Mr. Lind a minority candidate by 333 votes. General 
Baker made a thorough canvass on the issue of "tariff 
revision," and planted that seed of tariff reform in the 
district which culminated in the overthrow of James 
T. McCleary on the "stand-pat" issue of a high tariff 
seventeen years later. All the other Congressional dis- 
tricts in the state elected Democratic Congressmen that 
year, 1890, on the same issue. Thus the Eepublican 
strength was greatly impaired and the doctrine of tariff 
revision strongly affirmed in Minnesota. 

Mr. Lindas career of six years in Congress was 
marked by great activity, especially in reform measures 
of public importance. He took a very active interest 
in Indian affairs, and secured the passage of a bill 
establishing seven Indian schools in various parts of the 
country, one of which was at Pipestone, in his own dis- 
trict. He secured the payment of many long-standing 
claims for Indian depredations to citizens of his dis- 
trict. 



380 



JOHN LIND. 

One of the most important acts of legislation which 
he secured was the passage of a law for the reorganiza- 
tion of the Federal courts in Minnesota, even now recog- 
nized as the "Lind Bill." Under this law Federal 
courts are now held at Minneapolis, Mankato, Winona, 
and Fergus Falls, as well as in St. Paul. This saves 
litigants long journeys and great expense. He was also 
a strenuous fighter for the integrity and enforcement 
of the Interstate Commerce act, to prevent discrimina- 
tions in favor of persons or places. He earnestly advo- 
cated the automatic couples and power-brake bill and 
other like devices, which proved so effectual in protecting 
human life. In another bill he succeeded in having 
Minneapolis made a port of entry. He became an 
acknowledged authority on all questions relating to the 
public lands. He resisted the tariff on lumber in the 
economical interests of his constituents, and because he 
said that it committed the government to the destruc- 
tion of its own forests rather than those of other peo- 
ple. He favored free sugar, free materials for bind- 
ing twine, and was for free twine. He thus came to the 
positions held by General Baker in his celebrated can- 
vass in 1890. 

Mr. Lind voluntarily retired as a candidate for 
Congress, in 1892, absolutely refusing to enter the race. 
The convention paid him a very high compliment for 
his efficient services as a Eepublican Congressman, in 
resolutions nominating his successor. Lind as a mem- 
ber of Congress had avowed and defended Eepublican 

381 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

principles. All his life, until the free silver agitation, 
he was an ardent and enthusiastic Republican, and for 
six years was the faithful representative of that party in 
Congress. 

One of the constant adherents and followers of 
the free silver policy as espoused by Senator Teller, of 
Colorado, and by other "Silver Republicans," was John 
Lind. The Republican party, especially of the West, 
previous to the National Republican convention held at 
St. Louis in 1896, was firm in its adherence to free 
silver. In Minnesota the state platform had uniformly 
announced that doctrine. So it cannot be said that 
Mr. Lind abandoned the party on that issue. He simply 
remained in his previous faith on that question, while 
the Republican party, in its national convention of 1896, 
assumed a new firm position for the gold standard. The 
Minnesota Republican state platforms, for years, vindi- 
cate this statement as to silver. 

If anything were wanting to confirm this historic 
fact, the following pungent passage from a speech of 
Cushman K. Davis, delivered at Crookston, October, 13, 
1890, will be convincing: 

We passed the silver bill. Since 1878 that instrumentality 
of finance, that right arm of every monetary system, which 
had existed in efficacy through all the ages since and before 
the time when Abraham* paid 300 shekels of silver for the 
cave in which to bury his dead, that great function of civili- 
zation was restored and made legal tender, and from the mo- 
ment it was poured into the veins of circulation, prices in- 
creased, a universal sense of prosperity was felt, and the coun- 
try began to move forward upon a career of prosperity, which I 
assure you, my fellow citizens, we do not begin to appreciate 
even in its beginning. We raised it from its discredited anddis- 

382 



JOHN LIND. 

turbed condition, and we gave it as money the purchasing 
power of gold. The price of silver before the bill was passed 
was 92 cents, and 120 after the bill was passed, the nominal 
price being 129. And what followed immediately upon the pas- 
sage of the bill? Prices rose throughout the country on the 
cereals, on corn and barley. That work for the farmer was 
done by the Republican party. I tell you, gentlemen, that 
the passage of that silver bill was ten thousand times more 
beneficial to the people of Minnesota and the Union than any 
tariff bill your reformers could possibly devise. 1 

The silver question became more and more one 
of exciting interest during Mr. Lindas last term as a 
Republican in Congress. As late as 1896 he was still 
characterized as a "free silver" Eepublican. Mr. S. 
M. Owen had been nominated by the Populists in 1894 
as their candidate for governor, and the canvass which 
followed blazed the way for coming events. September 
12, 1896, Mr. Lind addressed his celebrated letter on 
the silver issue to the Minnesota public. By the terms of 
this letter, it would appear that now Mr. Lind had 
embraced the general political ideas entertained by 
the Populists. July 16, 1896, he was unanimously 
nominated for governor by the Populist and Free Silver 
convention, and was subsequently endorsed by the Demo- 
cratic party. His Republican opponent was the Hon. 
David M. Clough, of Minneapolis. The election de- 
monstrated that Lind was a popular candidate, as he 
reduced the Republican majority to but little over three 
thousand. 



J The only copy of Senator Davis' able speech on that oc- 
casion now in existence (type-written) is at this time in pos- 
session of the writer. 



383 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

Of this Populistic convention, Hon. Frank A. Day 
was a conspicuous member. Hon. C. A. Towne, of Du- 
luth, made the leading speech, in which he affirmed that 
he had been a Bepubliean till a quarter to two o'clock, 
June 18, 1896. Hon. Frank M. Nye was also one of 
the orators of the occasion. Free Silver was the ar- 
gent bridge on which each of them, except Nye, finally 
passed over to the Democratic party. 

In 1898 the war with Spain was proclaimed, fol- 
lowing the destruction of the historic war vessel, the 
Maine, in Havana harbor. President McKinley called 
for volunteers to defend and avenge the national honor. 
Minnesota, with its accustomed patriotic impulse, of- 
fered several regiments for the service, and among other 
volunteers John Lind, though with but one arm, gal- 
lantly offered his services to Governor Clough, although 
sacrificing a fine law practice. He was accepted and 
made quartermaster of the Twelfth regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Bobleter, of New Ulm. He was so 
commissioned, with the rank of first lieutenant. Lieu- 
tenant Lind at once became popular with the regi- 
ment, by his arduous labors keeping the men well equip- 
ped and provisioned. The regiment was encamped at 
Camp Thomas and Chickamauga National Park. 

During this period of military inactivity, Lieuten- 
ant Lind was unanimously nominated, October 28, 1898, 
by the Peopled Silver Bepublican and Democratic or- 
ganizations for governor. Mr. Lind, after his defeat in 
1896, had resolved never again to enter the field of 

384 



JOHN LIND. 

politics. But so unanimous and pressing was the call, 
that he put aside his desire for retirement and ac- 
cepted the summons, subject to the limitations of his 
military service. After the surrender of the Spanish 
forces, at Santiago, and the return of the Minnesota 
regiments to the state, Mr. Lind was able to make but 
two short series of speeches in some of the more im- 
portant places of the state. Wherever he went he was 
cordially and enthusiastically received. The money 
standard of the country, it was claimed, was being sub- 
verted, and he was the chosen candidate of the new finan- 
cial ideas. All the forces of so-called reform were ranged 
under the banners of Populism. Everywhere he was met 
with the most enthusiastic popular demonstrations of 
personal admiration, confidence, and sympathy. It was 
charged that Mr. Lind was nominated to catch the 
Scandinavian vote. But such a charge gave a low es- 
timate of the character of the man, his convictions, and 
his devoted patriotism. 

His Eepublican opponent was William Henry Eus- 
tis, of Minneapolis. Bustis was a man of intellectual 
ability, of high culture, imbued with the true spirit of 
civic patriotism, and with a public and private career 
of unblemished manhood. He was indeed a typical 
American citizen, and stood in the forefront of his party. 
Governor Clough was singularly bitter against Bustis, in 
a way which was ungenerous, in a matter growing out 
of William D. Washburn's election to a seat in the 
United States senate. Clough's obligations to his party 
25 385 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

should have constrained him to support the Republican 
candidate by every principle of duty and honor. But 
even without this defection, it is doubtful if Lind would 
not have been elected, as his personal popularity was 
great, and he was on the popular side in the financial 
questions, then uppermost in the public mind. However, 
it was generally held by the Republicans that the 
Swede nationality defeated Eustis. Lindas majority 
above the aggregate vote for the four other candidates, 
was 11,398. 

The official returns of this election were as fol- 
lows: William H. Eustis, Republican, 111,796 votes; 
John Lind, Democrat and People's, 131,980; George W. 
Higgins, Prohibition, 5,299 ; William B. Hammond, 
Socialist-Labor, 1,685; Lionel 0. Long, Midroad-Pop- 
ulist, 1,802. 

Lind, by the favor and insistence of his friends, 
was three times a candidate for governor: first, in 1896, 
when Hon. David M. Clough defeated him by a meager 
majority; second, in 1898, when he was elected over Hon. 
William H. Eustis; and last, in 1900, when Hon. Samuel 
R. Van Sant defeated him by a plurality of 2,254 votes. 
By this time the silver question had lost its potency, and 
by so much Lindas strength was diminished. 

It will be noted that Mr. Lind was the first to break 
through the continuous possession of power by the Re- 
publican party of Minnesota, which had been vigorously 
maintained for a period of quite forty years. Vermont 
is the only other state that affords so long an unbroken 



JOHN LIND. 

period of Republican supremacy. The causes which un- 
derlie its final defeat are found in the changed conditions 
of dominating public questions, to which the Republi- 
cans were slow to respond. The truth of history also re- 
quires us to note that a eontributary cause was the Scan-^ 
dinavian vote, which adhered to those of their own blood 
even against their fidelity to their political principles. 

Governor Land's messages, in 1899 and 1901, are 
of historic interest because of their influence upon the 
state's public policy and legislation, especially concern- 
ing taxation and the regulation of railroads and of state 
institutions. Through his influence upon legislation, and 
likewise through the board of equalization appointed by 
him, the state made marked progress in the assessment 
and ..taxation of mines, railroads, municipal franchise 
corporations, and foreign corporations. The railroad and 
warehouse commission appointed by him reduced freight 
rates. His recommendation for a state board of control 
over state institutions bore substantial results. 

After retiring from the executive office, Governor 
Lind returned to the practice of his profession at his 
home in New Ulm. Here he soon gained a lucrative 
business and was speedily identified with the most im- 
portant local interests of his home town. In 1901 he 
removed to the city of Minneapolis, where he at 
once engaged in his chosen profession, the law, in 
company with Mr. Andreas Ueland. 

Governor Lind has delivered many public addres- 
ses on a wide variety of subjects, which illustrate his 
general information and interpret his views on economic 

387 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

and public questions. Like many other public men, 
he h#s been very careless in preserving copies and has 
left them to the mercy of the ephemeral newspaper. 
The writer has resurrected a number of these forgotten 
addresses, and finds them worthy of the research made. 
Governor Lind is not distinguished for elegant speeches 
to which he made but little pretense, but they are 
forceful, clear, cogent and convincing. He is evidently 
a man given to close thinking. His manner of speaJking 
is from nature herself, and not a result of cultivation 
or art. When he came to Congress we were unable to 
assign him any special place as a debater, but his plain, 
discriminating and sincere manner of expressing himself 
gave him attention and carried conviction, such as is not 
always given to eloquence itself. 

In political life lie has proven a ready and strong 
debater. He was the able man of his political persua- 
sion, ( Without him the Populist elements would not 
have succeeded in holding their forces together. He 
presented an undaunted front and gallantly led his 
variegated and mosaic army against a strong array of 
Republican leaders, skilled in all the tactics of political 
warfare, and this, too, with all the great newspapers of 
the state in hostility to him. He was not able to or- 
ganize a new permanent party out of the Populistic 
elements, but he did succeed in leading most of those 
elements into the Democratic party, where he went him- 
self and found a .cofdial welcome and distinguished 
honors. In truth, he was the strongest accession the 

3$8 



JOHN LIND. 

Democratic party ever received in this state. The 
manifest sincerity of his convictions overcame the 
charge of desertion from old political friends, whose 
prejudices were deep-rooted. He was, however, just as 
consistent a politician as many of his most formidable 
opponents. 

At the bar his success would have been still more as- 
sured if he had not deviated into politics. Perhaps 
his best work has been achieved in the direction of juris- 
prudence, and the law was undoubtedly really his cho- 
sen pursuit. But the law is a jealous mistress, and 
will not admit of much devotion to politics if one would 
achieve her highest honors. Governor Lind has now re- 
turned to the vigorous pursuit of his profession, from 
which, we know, he never desires again to depart. 

Criticism has been freely given upon Mr. Lind's 
change of political parties. To the philosophic observer, 
the real line of distinction between the two great par- 
ties are pretty difficult to define. The radical differen- 
ces of opinion are not so real as the cursory citizen 
may think, for men are mostly marshalled or split in 
opposition according to the desire for power or plunder 
which each hopes to snatch for himself. Principles are 
too often professed more for securing position than 
for conserving the interests of the country. Of course, 
there are exceptions to this general rule, as in the case 
of the slavery question, where the cleavage was on moral 
and conscientious grounds. But now, nearly all questions 
are simply of expediency. A man may shift his political 

389 



GOVEENOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

position without being savagely denounced as inconsistent. 

Parties themselves, as a whole, shift their positions, 
abandoning ancient policies and going over to the other 
side.. The truth is that the course pursued by one. side 
generally dictates that taken by the other. Take the 
instance of the acquisition of territory. At one time tha 
Democrats were the avowed * champions of territorial 
acquisition, as in the ease of Texas, California, Arizona, 
and New Mexico. JSFow the Eepublicans are acquiring 
territory, as in Hawaii, Porto Eico, and the Philippines, 
and they stand ready to swallow Cuba. President 
Boosevelt, supported by a Eepubliean congress, is bravely 
pushing sound policies which yesterday were Democratic. 
Deep-rooted prejudices are thus being overturned. Such 
is party tactics and its imperious necessities, compelling 
parties to change views without compunction. The 
Democratic party under Benton were for "hard money" 
only. But with years and changed conditions they be- 
came the champions of "fiat money." If one party is 
for a given reform, the other party is quite liable to be 
against it. In the lull of great moral questions, parties 
are in the line mainly for the purpose of obtaining or 
retaining power, whatever their pretensions to sincerity. 

When this maneuvering is going on by great parties, 
we must not be surprised that individuals, like Mr. Lind, 
from the best of motives, should change, if they so desire, 
without censure. Such changes in English politics, by 
prominent men, are matters of repeated history. Sir 
Robert Peel and his whole Cabinet went over from Pro- 

390 



JOHN LIND. 

tection to Free Trade, in a single night. Daniel Webster 
changed front, in early life, from Free Trade to Pro- 
tection. Thus it is that on questions of mere expediency 
opinions come and go. They pass and are forgotten. 

Lind's general character is not wanting in those 
sterling qualities which greatly entitle a public man 
to confidence and respect. His private life is one of 
decorum and personal purity, a matter which so en- 
riches the character and influence of a public man. His 
family ties are very dear, well exemplifying what the 
domestic virtues should be in a true American home. 
His religious convictions have often been challenged. 
While as a matter of fact he may not be a strict ortho- 
dox in religious belief, yet the writer is assured that 
he cherishes an habitual reverence for the Deity and 
His divine perfections, a belief in our personal ac- 
countability, and that he entertains a lively hope of an 
immortal future. With such a mother as he has, his 
religious beliefs could not be otherwise than as here 
stated. In church affiliations he may be accounted a 
Unitarian. 

Mr. Lind has held many appointments of importance 
in affairs other than political. In 1892 Governor Nelson 
appointed him a regent of the State University, in which 
capacity he served the term of six years. He was long 
a director of the Brown County Bank. He was one of 
the directors having charge of the building of the 
Minneapolis, New Ulm, and Southwestern railroad. 



391 



GOVEBNOBS OP MINNESOTA. 

After his removal to Minneapolis, Mr. Lind was 
considered very available for Congress, by his Democratic 
friends, and was nominated in the Fifth Congressional 
District, and was elected, in 1902, over a tried and 
sturdy Bepubliean, Hon. Loren Fletcher, by a majority 
of 2,054. He apparently took but little interest in 
a new congressional career, and gladly retired to his 
chosen profession, the law. 

Governor Lind was married in 1879 to Miss Alice 
A. Shepard, a most estimable lady. She was the daugh- 
ter of a Blue Earth county farmer, and had been edu- 
cated at the Normal School in the city of "Mankato. She 
was born October 15, 1859. Her father, Richard Shep- 
ard, had been an honored soldier in the Union army. 
The family later removed to California. Miss Shepard 
taught school at New Ulm, where the acquaintance with 
her future husband began. To this union there were 
born four children; Norman, born August 14, 1880; 
Jenny, born April 2, 1884; Winifred, born August 
25, 1890; and John Shepard, born September 14, 1900. 



Governor Lindas inaugural message, January 4, 
1899, was published as a pamphlet of thirty-seven pages 
and as the first paper in the Executive Documents of 
Minnesota for 1898 (St. Paul, 1899). The first third 
of this message relates to taxation, especially of person- 
al property in bonds or stocks and other securities, and 
of corporations and railroads. Concerning the great 

392 



JOHN LI ND. 

disproportion of taxes on realty and personalty, the 
governor said: 

In the early days of the Republic, when the principles 
were formulated which still control our methods of taxation, 
visible property constituted the property of the community. 
Wealth meant houses,, lands, implements and cattle. Franchises, 
bonds, stocks and securities, were practically unknown. Today 
they constitute according to conservative estimates perhaps 
eighty per cent of personalty wealth. They are owned by 
the wealthy. As a rule, they escape taxation, not because 
they are the property of the rich, but because the assessor 
cannot get his eyes on them. The producer on the other hand 
cannot conceal his stock, or the implements of his trade, and 
they are taxed. The patriotic desire to volunteer tribute to 
the state is probably no greater in the one than in the 
other. * * * Judging by comparison and by data from 
other states, it is safe to assume that the value of the per- 
sonal property in this state is nearly as great as that of the 
realty. As returned for taxation, the figures are in round 
numbers; real property, $500,000,000; personalty, $100,000,000. 
To get at the remaining personal property, or to substitute 
some other method of obtaining revenue more just and efficient 
than the present antiquated system of taxing personalty, is 
the problem. To solve this, I believe with my predecessor that 
a Commission should be appointed. * * * 

The biennial message delivered by Lind on January 
9, 1901, at the termination of his service as governor, 
was published as a pamphlet of twenty-eight pages. It 
begins with the following statements of the growth and 
prospects of Minnesota, which in 1899 completed fifty 
years as a territory and state. 

The history of Minnesota spans but a half century. In 
that brief time the persevering industry of our people has con- 
verted an inhospitable wilderness into a land of plenty dotted 
with homes. Fifty years ago our population was told in 
hundreds; we now have nearly eighteen hundred thousand. 
Our soil yielded in the year 1900 not far from one hundred 
thirty-five million bushels of cereals. Our forests produced two 
billion feet of lumber. Our mines turned out ten million tons 
of ore, and the stock and dairy products of the state exceeded 
forty million dollars in value. Our manufactures, including 
flour and lumber, approximated two hundred and eighty mil- 
lion dollars ($280,000,000). Our commerce is carried over 6,794 

393 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

miles of railway within the state, and our banking capital, 
exclusive of private banks, is $20,000,000. Learning is dis- 
seminated by 10,616 teachers employed in 7,303 school houses, 
which have been erected at a qost to the public of $14,800,000. 

Our past b&s been phenomenal. Our present is gjreat. The 
wonderful discoveries and inventions of the century just closed 
have left the present and future generations an inheritance of 
potential power over nature and nature's forces which, if ex- 
tended and applied to the service of man as intelligently in 
the present century as in the last, cannot fail to produce, in a 
state so rich in natural resources as ours, results that beggar 
the dreams of fancy. 

I deem it conservative to predict that within this century 
Minnesota will have a population of ten millions. The com- 
fort and happiness of that population will, in a large measure, 
depend upon our work and the work of this generation, Our 
state and our institutions are yet in the formative period. As 
we build, so will future generations dwell. As we sow, they 
"will reap. The greatness of a state does not consist alone in 
the material wealth within its boundaries, nor in the num- 
bers of its population. The greatness that appeals to me and 
that assures its permanency is to be found rather in just and 
equal laws, in policies, that produce an equitable distribution 
of wealth, that build homes and conserve the independence 
and happiness of the people. Our free institutions have aided 
us in obtaining these blessings in a larger degree than any 
other people, but for their preservation we must not place our 
reliance in the mere forms of government or in paper constitu- 
tions. They can only be preserved by a public spirit that 
prompts the citizen to exercise his franchise, and his represen- 
tative to so discharge his duty as to guard every interest of 
the state and further the welfare of society as a whole. 

The following are pamphlet publications of speeches 
by Lind: 

Remarks on the Wilson Retaliation Bill, in the 
House of Representatives in Congress, September 8, 
1888; thirteen pages. 

Free Coinage of Silver, a speech in the House of 
Representatives, Firty-first Congress, First Session, June 
7, 1890; seven pages from the Congressional Record. 

Speech accepting Re-nomination for Governor, de- 
livered in the Old Auditorium, St. Paul, September 6, 
1900; forty-eight pages. 
394 




SAMUEL R. VAN SANT 



SAMUEL RINNAH VAN -SANT 

Fifteenth Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born in Rock Island, Illinois, 
May 11, 1844. He served in the Civil 
War, and afterward engaged in lumber 
business and steamboating, and resided 
in Minnesota. He was Speaker of the 
House of Representatives in the State 
Legislature in 1895; and was governor 
of Minnesota from January 7, 1901, to 
January 4, 1905. 



SAMUEL RINNAH VAN SANT 

FIFTEENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF 
MINNESOTA 

January 7, 1901, to January 4, 1905. 



THE many and varied interests of our state have 
been well represented in the gubernatorial chair. 
Kamsey and Sibley personated the early pioneers; Miller, 
Marshall, and Hubbard, stand for our war memories; 
Austin and Davis exhibited the legal and judicial inter- 
ests of the state; Pillsbury and Merriam stood for the 
general business interests; Lind and Nelson represented 
the force and power of the Scandinavian element; and 
Clough stood for the great lumber interests. Thus 
these great concerns, which so largely intertwined, make 
the fabric of our state, have each had a representative 
man in the executive chair to guard their part, if not 
in action, certainly in sympathy. And now comes 
our vast rafting and steamboat business on the greatest 
river of the continent, and receives a representation 
among the governmental state pilots. 

The Van Zandts were Hollanders, and the earliest 
ancestor known came to this country in 1607, on the ship 
"Gude Freund," and landed on Staten Island. His 

397 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

name was Johannes Van Zandt. The descendants of 
this progenitor settled on Manhattan. Island and scat- 
tered from Albany, N. Y., down along the Jersey coast* 
The New Jersey branch of the family is that one from 
which the future governor sprang. 

For two hundred years the Van Zandts were ship- 
builders and sailors. It is said that one of the an- 
cestors equipped a privateer in the Revolution, and at- 
tacked British shipping on the high seas. It was a pa- 
triotic race, and they served in every war for the de- 
fense or preservation of the country, including the 
early colonial wars. 

The governor's grandfather was a soldier in the 
war of 1812. He was also a Methodist clergyman, and 
five sons were clergymen in the same denomination. 

Samuel's father, John Wesley Van Sant, came west 
from New Jersey in 1837, and settled at Rock Island, 
Illinois. The family had now Anglicized the name, 
and spelled it Van Sant. The name was Anglicized soon 
after the Dutch were conquered by the English, when 
the name of New York was substituted for New Am- 
sterdam. The family endured all the hardships inci- 
dent to early pioneer life. 

Upon the father's arrival at Rock Island, he be- 
gan at once the building and repairing of steamboats. 
He was an abolitionist and a Methodist, and his father 
before him was an abolitionist. He lived in the neigh- 
borhood of Rock Island, working at his naval pursuits, 
a vigorous and hearty old man, until a few years since, 
398 



SAMUEL B INN AH VAN SANT. 

when he died at the ripe age of ninety-two years. He 
had the pleasure, on his ninety-first birthday, January 
9, 1901, of seeing his son inaugurated governor of the 
state. His wife, whose maiden name was Lydia An- 
derson, survived him, and died, in 1905, at the age of 
ninety-four years. On the maternal side, he also came 
of fighting blood, as his maternal grandfather was a 
Eevolutionary hero. 

Samuel Binnah Van Sant was born May 11, 1844, 
at Bock Island, Illinois. The middle name, Binnah, 
came to him from the name of one of his father's near 
and dear neighbors, Binnah Wells. It is a Bible name. 
The name Samuel was for an uncle, a Methodist prea- 
cher. 

His early youth was spent in attendance at the 
common school in Bock Island. He had advanced as 
far as the High School, when the war for the preserva- 
tion of the Union broke out. Though he was but 
seventeen years of age at this period, when the first call 
for volunteers was made, he promptly offered himself 
to the recruiting officer, but was rejected on account of 
his age. He made other efforts to enlist, but was re- 
jected for the same reason. Later, having received his 
father's written consent, in August, 1861, he enlisted 
in Company A, Ninth Illinois cavalry. He was in ac- 
tive service for over three years, much of the time with 
Grierson's famous cavalry raiders, where the hardships 
of the campaigns were unusually severe. He never missed 



399 



GQVEENOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

a battle, never was wounded, and was never in the 
hospital. 

Indeed, good fortune, smiled upon him in all his 
military career. He was in the battles around Mem- 
phis, Helena, and Tupelo, and in fact participated in 
every engagement of his regiment while he was in the 
army. He was the last veteran of the Civil War to 
occupy the gubernatorial chair in Minnesota, being the 
tenth one of our eighteen governors to serve both as a 
soldier and statesman. Probably no other state in the 
Union has chosen so large a proportion of its chief execu- 
tives from the ranks of its military heroes. 

When the war was over, he was mustered out 
with his regiment, and, after a visit at his home, he 
went to Burnham's American Business College, at Hud- 
son, W. Y., where he graduated. But feeling a desire 
for a still better education, he soon after entered Knox 
College, at Galesburg, Illinois. He was now ambitious 
for a regular college course. He completed the prepara- 
tory course, and entered as a freshman and passed 
through that year of the curriculum. He was entirely 
dependent on his own resources, and he found that a 
lack of means would compel him to abandon his col- 
lege purpose. He had already, while at college, learned 
the ship carpenter and calker^s trade. He now engaged 
in the boat yard business with his father at Le Claire, 
Iowa. He there built the first raft boat of large pow- 
er ever constructed solely for towing logs and lumber 



400 



SAMUEL KINK AH VAN SANT. 

down the Mississippi river, and in honor of his father, 
named it the "J. W. Van Sant." 

The success of this venture led the firm to construct 
other boats of a similar character, and they became ac- 
tively engaged in rafting and lumbering on the Mis- 
sissippi river. It is safe to say that his fleet of steamers 
towed more logs and lumber to market down the river 
than any other line of boats ever constructed. 

It was during this period (1872-73) that Captain 
Van Sant met with a series of disasters which would have 
appalled a heart less brave. One of his steamboats blew 
up, resulting in a great loss of life and the entire 
destruction of the boat. Another boat sank in the ice 
and was lost. These misfortunes left him heavily in 
debt. The same year his house burned down, and to 
crown his misfortunes, his only living child died. 
In reality, he was homeless, childless, and penniless. One 
of his injured boats he placed between two barges and 
carried down the river, one hundred and fifty miles, to 
his own boat ways where he rebuilt it. Nothing of this 
kind had ever before been done on the river, and all 
the river men doubted its practicability. However, he 
was not made of a material to quail under difficulties, 
a characteristic which has marked his entire career. 

This distinguishing quality was noted in his pursuit 
of the governorship, when, having twice failed, he 
won on his third effori It is a noticeable and creditable 
fact that in all his financial embarrassment's, he never, 

26 401 



GOVEKNOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

at any time, was sued or in any way judicially prose- 
cuted. 

In the spring of 1883, for the better managing of 
the firm's business, Captain Van Sant removed to Wi- 
nona, Minnesota. Business grew and he ^as soon very 
largely engaged in the transportation business, convey- 
ing down the Mississippi river logs and lumber to various 
mills and concerns. In a few years he was operating a 
dozen or more steamboats between Stillwater and Daven- 
port, Burlington, Keokuk, and Quincy. He was now cal- 
led "Captain" Van Sant, a brevet title which came to 
him from the steamboat business in which he had become 
so prominent. His business integrity, even in his darkest 
days, was never questioned. 

He proved himself a man of great energy of charac- 
ter, and in his new" home, with public spirit, he identi- 
fied himself with the public affairs of the city. He was 
a Eepublican in politics, as all his family had been. His 
first political position was when he was elected alderman, 
and his course gave great satisfaction. In 1892 he was 
elected a member of the legislature, in a Democratic 
district, in which President Cleveland had a majority 
of 150. Captain Van Santfs majority in the district 
was 64. In 1894 *he was again elected ' to the legisla- 
ture. During his first legislative term he was chairman 
of the State Normal School Committee, and in that 
position he did much to aid the lejitire system, of Nor- 
mal Slchools. In the session of 1895, he was elected 
Speaker of the House, receiving every Republican, Demo- 

402 



SAMUEL EINNAH VAN SANT. 

cratic^and Populist vote, an unusual honor. He presided 
with such marked ability and general approval, that he 
became well and favorably known throughout the state. 

There was no other part of his career of which 
Captain Van Sant was so justly proud as of his military 
service. He very naturally, therefore, identified himself 
with the Grand Army of the Eepublic. Twice he ser- 
ved as commander of the John Ball Post, of Winona. In 
1893 he was elected senior vice department commander 
of Minnesota. The next year he was elected commander. 
He devoted himself to every duty connected with this 
honorable position. It is of record that he traveled over 
twenty thousand miles, visiting posts, conducting camp 
fires, and holding memorial services. His influence and 
activity resulted in bringing the National Encampment 
of the Grand Army to Minnesota in 1896. No other 
commander of the Grand Army in the state did so much 
to advance the growth and interests of that distinguished 
body, as Captain Van Sant. 

His active services in the Grand Army of the 
Eepublic, his course in the legislature, and his praise- 
worthy conduct as Speaker of the HouSe, had already 
made him a familiar figure in the state. His political 
speeches did much to endear him to the Eepublican party 
and its leaders, for he was always an enthusiastic worker 
in that cause. 

In 1896, Captain Van Sant made his first appear- 
ance as a candidate for governor. He was well backed 
by a good delegation from his own county, Winona. 

403 



GOVEBNOBS OF MINNESOTA. 

Acting Governor Clough, of Minneapolis, John L. Gibbs, 
of Freeborn county, and Moses Clapp, of St. .Paul, were 
the contestants. Governor dough won on the first 
ballot, but Captain Van Sant received 158 ballots, which 
was considered a very complimentary vote for a new 
man, and served to introduce him to the state. 

In a short speech, after dough's nomination, with 
a good humor which won the good will of the conven- 
tion, among other things, he said: 

"I feel it is an honor to have been mentioned for 
governor in this convention, but I beg to assure you I 
was not running for governor, I was only walking." 

In the campaign of 1898, Captain Van Sant was 
again a candidate for governor. Hon. William H. Bus- 
tis, of Minneapolis, received the nomination; but Captain 

Van Sant increased his vote over the preceding conven- 

tion of 1896, having 401 votes. 

After the elegant acceptance speech of Mr. Eustis, 
Captain Van Sant, as one of the defeated candidates, 
was called before the convention. His speech was so. 
manly, and replete with such good sense and good humor, 
that we are fully justified in publishing it in full as re- 
ported: 
"Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: 

"As I sat on the platform listening to the speech 
of my successful rival, the thought occurred to me that 
if it seemed 'funeral-like' to him while waiting at the 
Windsor for the result of your deliberations, just imag- 
ine my feelings. He won. I lost. I had hoped to re- 

404 



SAMUEL BIN If AH VAN SANT. 

turn to my home occupying the front seat on the band 
wagon; instead, I go back in the hearse. Again imagine 
my embarrassment. I prepared a speech to deliver to 
this convention, but alas, it would not be appropriate for 
this occasion. Besides, I have been for six months talk- 
ing to the Republicans of Minnesota, and it does not 
seem to have done mubh good. Why should I speak 
more? But, my friends and fellow workers in the vine- 
yard of the Eepublican party, I want to say right here 
and now that from a full heart I thank the four hund- 
red true and tried men who stood by me through thick 
and thin and to the last, and have only the kindliest 
feeling toward those who opposed my nomination. There 
was but one trouble — I did not have votes enough. 
Let me assure you there are no sore spots on me. I 
most earnestly congratulate Mr. Eustis; he fairly won 
the nomination. Like him I, too, thought I heard a 
voice two years ago. I was mistaken. He heard the 
call; it remains with us to make the election sure. We 
are all Eepublicans, but no Republican will carry the 
flag further into the enemy's camp during the coming 
fall than I will, unless he has a stronger constitution 
or greater ability. This will be a Republican year, a 
glorious year of sunshine; already the warming glow of 
prosperity is assured. The promise of McKinley and 
prosperity is a fact, and business conditions are so rap- 
idly and permanently improving that our country is desr 
tined soon to become and remain the greatest on the face 
of the earth. .:,,,,. 



405 



GOVEKNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

"Again I congratulate you, Mr. Eustis, not only 
upon your nomination but upon the glorious victory 
that awaits you in November; and to the end that it 
may be as nearly unanimous as possible let us all re- 
turn to our homes and go zealously to work burying our 
hatchets, if we have any, so deeply that they will never 
again be resurrected. Personally I am satisfied, and am 
ready for the conflict. I have been carefully taking ac- 
~ count of my political assets; I find that all I have re- 
maining is my post office address. If you desire my 
services in the coming campaign all you will have to do 
is to address me at Winona. I will fight just as hard 
as a private soldier, and in the trenches, as if your leader 
in command. I believe in the grand old party, its suc- 
cess brings prosperity to all the people. No disappoint- 
ment, however great, can cause me to sulk in my tent; 
I weigh two hundred pounds, and every ounce of it is 
for my party and its candidates. 

"Gentlemen of the convention, in closing let me 
assure you that there is some compensation even in de- 
feat. I shall go home to family and friends, to rest and 
quiet, while Mr. Eustis assumes the strenuous duties of 
campaign and office. The happier man I" 

Captain Van Santfs defeat in the convention was 
perhaps fortunate for him. Eustis was defeated in the 
campaign by the ungenerous and undeserved machina- 
tions of some of his own party, Hon. John Lind, Demo- 
crat, being elected by a majority of 20,184 over Eustis, 
and over all opponents by 11,398. 

406 



SAMUEL RINNAH VAN SANT. 

Van Santfs course after this second defeat greatly 
commended him to his party and to the general public. 
He took an active part on the stump and spoke nightly 
for several weeks for the success of his party and its 
candidates. At the next state convention of his party, 
Captain Van Santf s time had come, and a large Repub- 
lican convention, in 1900, nominated him by acclama- 
tion and by a rising vote. His method of accepting de- 
feat may well be studied as a model of good sense and 
good taste under such circumstances. Ambitious politi- 
cians can see in it the effects of a wise course under the 
sting of defeat. 

Governor Lind was his opponent. This was the 
third and last time Lind was a candidate. The canvass 
was warm, but was conducted in an honorable manner 
by the two candidates. Van Sant was elected by a fair 
majority. He received 152,905 votes; Lind had 150,651, 
giving Van Sant over Lind 2,254 votes. 

The vote for the other candidates for governor in 
this election stood as follows: Betnt B. Haugan, Pro- 
hibition, 5,430 ; Sylvester M. Fairchild, Midroad Popu- 
list, 763; Thomas H. Lucas, Socialist-Democrat, 3,546; 
Edward Kriz, Socialist-Labor, 886. 

The ensuing convention, in 1902, re-nominated Gov- 
ernor Van Sant by acclamation. Lind was no longer 
in the field, and Hon. Leonard A. Rosing was substituted 
by the Democratic convention as a candidate. Van 
Sant received 155,849 votes, against 99,362 for Rosing. 
The latter had been Governor Lindas private secretary. 

407 



GOVEBNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

Van Sant had grown in favor, and restored Bepublican 
supremacy. The governor had a majority over Bosing 
61 56,487, and thus entered upon his second term with 
the full endorsement of his party. 

The entire gubernatorial vote in 1902 was 270,888. 
Thomas J. Meighen, People's Party candidate, received 
4,821; Charles Scanlon, Prohibitionist, 5,765; Jay E, 
Nash, Socialist, 2,521; and Thomas Van Lear, Socialist- 
Labor, 2,570. 

During his entire term of four years, Governor Van 
Sant was diligently urging the enforcement of existing 
laws, rather than the enactment of new ones. He vigor- 
ously maintained the wisdom of the measure known as 
the Board of Control bill, and insisted that this wise 
measure should be made permanent. He held, however, 
that the management of the State "University and the 
Normal Schools should be removed from the Board of 
Control. It has been found that the affairs of the Uni- 
versity and Normal Schools are better conserved in the 
hands of the Begents and the Normal School Board. 

The governor's entire administration was patriotic 
and business-like, and the conscientious and faithful per- 
formance of his duties stand well to his credit. In 1902 
he issued a call for an extra session of the legislature. 
Large property and corporate interests, from the first, 
opposed an extrst session. The prominent and import- 
ant purpose of this extra session was the preparation 
and submission of a series of amendments to the con- 
stitution as to taxation. Without these proposed amend- 

408 



SAMUEL EINNAH VAN SANT. 

ments, proper legislation, so much desired, could not be 
had at the next ensuing regular session. Events proved 
the wisdom of the governor's action. 

But Governor Van §anf s most conspicuous and most 
distinguished services for the state, while he was gov- 
ernor, were rendered in what came to be known as the 
celebrated "Railroad Merger" cases, in 1902-3. It had 
been the settled policy, as declared in the laws of the 
state for many years, that competing lines of railway 
should not be merged. Sections 2716 and 2717 of the 
General Statutes of the state, in most specific terms, for- 
bade the "merging" of parallel or competing lines of 
railway. These statutes had been held to be constitu- 
tional by the Supreme Court of the "United States. 

Three great railroad corporations, the Northern Pac- 
ific, the Great Northern, and the Chicago, Burlington 
and Quincy, all trans-continental lines, running between 
Minnesota and the Pacific coast, had been consolidated 
or merged. The effect of the consolidation would be 
that railway competition between these terminal points 
would be eliminated. People would have to pay what- 
ever charges would be demanded by the three roads. 
The only competing road to the coast, the Soo line, 
could be easily disposed of. 

The consolidation had been effected by the ingenious 
organization of a fourth corporation, called the North- 
ern Securities Company, chartered by the State of New 
Jersey, and designed especially to acquire the majority 
of the stock of the Northern Pacific and the Great 

409 



GOVEBNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

Northern, in return for the stock of the Northern Securi- 
ties, and to control those roads. The consolidation was 
made in November, 1&G1. 

The great project was deemed a most dangerous 
menace to the interests of the people of the Northwest 
Public sentiment was fairly aroused. There was a gen- 
eral and vehement demand that the consolidation of the 
railroads, or the "merger," be at once destroyed. The 
people of Minnesota were especially insistent that some- 
thing be done. The merger, like a great triple-headed 
monster, constituted a most formidable antagonist which 
it seemed foolhardy to attack. It was plain that only 
a sovereign state w^s stout and strong enough to wage 
battle against it. 

Governor Van Sant was the first chief executive in 
the Northwest to spring into the breach and throw his 
lance fairly against the strong and mailed armor of the 
great corporation so menacing to, the people and so 
defiant of their will. January 7, 1902, less than two 
months after the incorporation of the Northern Securi- 
ties Company, Attorney General Douglas, by direction 
of the governor, began proceedings, in the name of the 
State of Minnesota, against the Northern Securities Com- 
pany. 

The whole country applauded the action most en- 
thusiastically. The audacity of the action was only 
equalled by its righteousness, but it was popular. The 
Legislature came to the governor's assistance and gave 
him an appropriation to carry on the fight. 

410 



SAMUEL RINNAH VAN SANT. 

The country was so stirred and public sentiment so 
awakened that President Boosevelifs attention was at- 
tracted to the situation. Two months after Governor 
Van Sant and the Minnesota authorities had moved, the 
President ordered his Attorney General, the Hon. Phil- 
ander C. Knox, to proceed against the railroads and the 
Securities Company, and on March 10, 1902, action was 
begun by District Attorney Purdy in the United States 
Circuit Court for the district of Minnesota. 

That the State's cases against the corporations fell 
and came to nothing because they were improperly 
brought, was not the fault of Governor Van Sant. He 
gave his Attorney General the assistance of two able and 
eminent lawyers and under the special law paid them 
munificent fees, but they erred in presenting their cases 
In the first instance they asked leave of the United 
States Supreme Court to file a bill in that court in a 
case entitled "State of Minnesota vs. the Northern Se- 
curities Company," but the Court refused leave because 
the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific Railroad 
companies had not been made parties defendant, it be- 
ing manifest from the pleadings that these companies 
and their stockholders were deeply interested in the case. 
The second case, which joined the railroads as parties, 
was begun in the State Court, removed to the United 
States District Court, decided against the State by Dis- 
trict Judge Lochren, appealed to the United States 
Supreme Court, and by that Court dismissed for want of 
jurisdiction. The Court held that the Federal Courts 

411 



GOVEENOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

did not have jurisdiction over the ease, although this 
right had been conceded by the attorneys of both sides, 
but that it was a case for the state courts. Before an- 
other suit could be commenced, the general Government's 
case had caught up with and passed the State's slow moving 
contention and been decided, after two years proceeding 
in the case, by the Supreme Court, in favor of the 
Government. The effect of the decision was that the 
Northern Securities Company was dissolved and the 
merger broken up. Thereafter there was no need of the 
State's proceeding further, because the relief desired 
had been afforded by the Federal Courts under the 
Sherman act of Congress, where they had undoubted 
jurisdiction. . 

The Northern Securities Company was the most 
ingenious scheme ever brought into existence to promote 
transportation monopoly and stifle competition. To 
Governor Van Sant belongs exclusively the honor and 
credit of being the first to move against this powerful 
organization, backed, as it was, by unlimited money, and 
employing the ablest lawyers of the country. He de- 
termined, if possible, to prevent the actual consolidation 
of these companies, and to enforce the law of the state. 
When he publicly announced that he would bring suit, 
he called a meeting of the governors of all the states 
that were penetrated by these lines of railway and af- 
fected by this consolidation. This conference was held 
at Helena, Montana. Minnesota, Montana, South Da- 
kota, „ Washington, and Idaho, were represented at this 

412 



SAMUEL EINKAH VAN SANT. 

extraordinary conference. This body fully sustained 
Governor Yan Sant in his great effort and gave it their 
unqualified approval. The meeting and resolutions 
served to arouse public sentiment and invited the at- 
tention of President Eoosevelt. Thereafter followed 
one of the most famous legal battles in the nation's his- 
tory. No party platform has been written by any party 
since the "Merger" fight, that does not advocate the 
principles involved in that contest. The grand result 
was, as indicated, the defeat of the "Merger" company, 
and the triumph of the state and general government 
on the principles involved. But behind the courts which 
tried these cases, there is still a mightier court, the 
great court of Public Opinion, whose decrees, in the 
end, are irresistible. The country at large was delighted 
over the Northern Securities decision. The consolidation 
of competing railroads will now cease; and also, to a 
•large extent, their common ownership. The open de- 
fiance of the people's will will gradually disappear as 
the result of the great issue inaugurated by Governor 
Van Sant* 

Although Van Sant had been the head and front 
of the anti-merger battle, the final results of which had 
not yet been secured, he himself indulged no purpose of 
Being a candidate for a third term. This fact opened 
the door to other prominent parties who were ambitious 
in that direction. Judge Loren W. Collins, of Stearns 
county, was among the first to definitely announce his 
purpose. He was a lifelong Eepublican, and had been 

413 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

for sixteen years one of the members of the Supreme 
Court of the state. He possessed fine ability, a spotless 
character, and had hosts of friends. Twice before Judge 
Collins had been a candidate for the nomination for 
governor, but had made no special effort to secure the 
prize. At this time, however, he publicly announced 
his purpose and made a strong appeal to his friends 
for support. To free himself from all embarrassment, 
he resigned his place upon the Supreme Bench. 

Following this announcement, the Hon. Robert 0. 
Dunn, ex-auditor of the state, made formal proclamation 
of his purpose to be a candidate for the governorship* 
He made the announcement of this intention in his 
own newspaper, at Princeton, January 12, 1904. "Bob 
Dunn," as he was familiarly called, was a gentleman of 
robust ability, persoiial integrity and popularity, and had 
a following which was earnest and enthusiastic. Both 
of these distinguished competitors publicly announced 
their acceptance of the Republican state platform of 
1902, and stood for the enforcement of the law against 
the "Merger" of parallel and competing lines of rail- 
way. For this question of the "Merger" had become 
the engrossing political question, made so by the vigor- 
ous efforts of Governor Van Sant. 

Very unfortunately for both of these prominent and 
popular men, they soon became engaged in a bitter and 
personal controversy, such as the state had not yet wit- 
nessed between opposing candidates in the same party. 
The quarrel extended to their respective followers, and 

414 



SAMUEL RINNAH VAN SANT. 

all else was lost -sight of in this exciting personal con- 
tention. 

The wrangle was carried to the county conventions, 
and appeared soon in ominous heat in the state con- 
vention. It is useless to revive the unimportant charges 
and counter-charges which were made. They should be 
consigned to the political waste-basket of forgetfulness. 
The bitter quarrel which ensued was carried to the Com- 
mittee on Credentials. But for the coolness, firmness, 
and evident fairness of Senator Moses B. Clapp, who 
fortunately was the strong presiding officer of this 
turbulent body, two conventions would have been the 
result, as in the case between Kindred and Nelson. No 
pilot ever conducted his vessel amid shoals and rocks 
with more dexterity and wisdom, than did Senator Clapp 
guide this tumultuous body into waters of safety. The 
final result of the convention was the nomination of 
Mr. Dunn. But the animosities which had been aroused 
were carried into the canvass, and Mr. Dunn was unjustly 
and ungenerously made the victim of defeat. It is to 
be profoundly regretted that these two strong and able 
men, by this unhappy contention, are probably not again 
■t desirable as candidates, and ,the state will thereby lose 
valuable service. 

Governor Van Sant is built on steamboat lines. 
His vigorous physical energy, combined with his strength 
of mind, makes him a commanding personality. His 
courage to follow his own convictions is as marked in 
peace as was his intrepidity in war. His grit, in de- 

415 



, GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

fiance of the strong railroad combination in the merger 
case, exhibited the elements of his character. 

There are no snags or reefs in Captain Van Santas 
course that can stay his purpose. His boat is always 
headed up stream, and he makes good time against the 
current* He has perhaps raised a score or more of 
sunken steamboats, many of them i after they were de- 
clared- hopeless. He has a '*bloetand-tackle" method of 
his own, and difficulties disappear and thus he outwits 
misfortune. There is sometimes a stormy force about 
him, referable to his strong physical nature. But a more 
generous and kindly man never sat in the governor's 
chair. He loves t&« grisp the hand of hardened toil, 
but whether a nian is clad in overalls or fine apparel, he 
is sure to meet Ivith a warm * and welcome reception. 
He is quite an attractive speaker, and is always ready, 
on all suitable occasions, to give free utterance to his 
manly sentiments.. He is more fluent than eloquent; 
more solid than brilliant; more inclined to argument 
and facts than to rounded and polished periods. He is 
a Methodist, as all his family are and were, and his 
father was named for John Wesley. He never lost any- 
thing in politics by being a member of that church. He 
is a Republican by inheritance and conviction. He is a 
man of great benevolence and gives abundantly of his 
means. He is a temperate man and requires no pledges 
nor society to refrain him from indulgence. Had he 
lived in the days of Cromwell, he would undoubtedly 
have been a Covenanter. 



416 



SAMUEL EINNAH VAN SANT. 

He is in the meridian of life, about sixty-four years 
of age. He is about five feet seven inches in height, 
heavily and solidly proportioned; weighs 190 pounds; 
has dark hair, a good forehead; eyebrows ponderous; 
cheekbones somewhat prominent; complexion dark. His 
mouth and jaw pronounce him a man of firmness and 
courage, and he has push and persistency, as his history 
shows. He has health and strength, and will probably 
be heard from again in the field of politics. During the 
closing days of his administration the New Capitol was 
sufficiently finished to permit the Legislature of 1905 
to meet in it, and just before retiring from the guber- 
natorial chair Van Sant removed the executive office to 
the new building, and was thus the first to occupy the 
beautiful suite of rooms designed for the governor of 
Minnesota. 

Governor Van Sant now resides in the city of Min- 
neapolis, at the "Hampshire Arms," and is engaged in 
the land and loan business. 

Captain Van Sant was married in Le Claire, Iowa, 
December 7, 1868, to Miss Euth Hall. He was married 
by his brother, Bev. E. A. Van Sant. His wife, was of 
Scotch-Irish descent. Her people on the father's side 
came from the north of Ireland. Her mother's name 
was Eoss, and she was descended from Major John 
Boss, who was an officer in the war of the Revolution 
and also in the War of 1812. Mrs. Van Sant's grand- 
father was Henry Eoss, who was a soldier in the War 
of 1812. Mrs. Van Sant is a woman of strong charac- 

27 417 



GOVEEJSTOES OF MINNESOTA. 

ter, a devoted mother and loyal wife. In Captain Van 
Santas darkest days she was a tower of strength, animat- 
ing and encouraging him to renewed exertions when 
fate seemed so adverse. With the return of prosperity 
and the elevation of her husband, she was equal to the 
duties of her station. To this happy union, there were 
born three children. A boy named Paul died at the 
age of eight months, and a daughter named Gertrude 
died at the age of two years. The surviving child is 
named Grant Van Sant, after the great general. He 
was graduated from the Law Department of the State 
University, and is now practicing his profession in the 
city of St. Paul. 



The inaugural message of Governor Van Sant to 
the legislature, January 9, 1901, was published as a 
pamphlet of twenty pages (St. Paul, 1901). He spoke 
in high commendation of the State University and Nor- 
mal Schools, as follows: 

Minnesota takes front rank among her sister states along 
educational lines. Her great University, the pride of all, is 
second to no similar institution in efficiency and, is only sur- 
passed in numbers by one or two others, enrollment of stu- 
dents this year being 3,400. With its efficient president and 
excellent corps of teachers, it is doing a grand work for the 
young men and women of Minnesota. Its Department or 
School of Agriculture has been of incalculable benefit to the 
farmers of the state. Its needs will be carefully looked after 
by your honorable body. 

The Normal Schools, too, are leaders among schools of like 
character. The teachers furnished by them have added greatly 
to the efficiency of our school system, for they are to be 
found in every part of the state and always doing splendid 
work. The new building at Duluth is about completed, and 
it is proposed to open this fifth normal school in September of 

418 



SAMUEL EINNAH VAN SANT. 

this year. These great institutions are now fully recognized 
as a necessary part of our system, and for their support in 
the future I would urge that a certain mill tax be levied 
upon the plan adopted for the University. This has been done 
in several states. 

The closing paragraph reads thus: 

Gentlemen of the Legislature, we assemble at the dawn 
of the twentieth century. The world has never witnessed 
greater advancement in any era than has taken place during 
the past one hundred years. The marvelous discoveries in 
science, the spread of knowledge, the improvements in govern- 
ments, the increase in wealth and commerce, challenge the re- 
cord of the centuries. The people of the earth have been 
benefited in many ways during this time, but in my opinion 
the greatest blessing they have received is the proof that a 
government "of the people, for the people, and by the people," 
is not a mere figment of the philosopher, but an absolute truth. 
Chiefest factor in this proof is the existence of the United 
States. There are few brighter pages in history than those 
which tell of the origin and growth of our Republic, none 
more fraught with promise for the future. Sharing in this 
inspiring history, growth and promise is our own common- 
wealth, and I wish to congratulate you upon the splendid 
growth of our young state and the prosperity of all her peo- 
ple, and will express the wish that this legislative session, the 
first of the new century, may be pointed to with pride and 
be a model for all future bodies of a like nature that may as- 
semble during the next one hundred years. Let our motto be, 
regardless of our political belief or bias, that "he best serves 
his party, who best serves the state," and may God in his 
wisdom guide you and me in the discharge of our public du- 
ties. 

In the special session of the legislature called by 
Governor Van Sant to take action upon the report of the 
Tax Commission, which had been appointed according to 
a legislative act of 1901, he delivered a message on Feb- 
ruary 5, 1902, which was published as a pamphlet of 
twelve pages (St. Paul, 1902). 

Van SamVs biennial message of January 7, 1903, 
was published in thirty-one pages as a pamphlet and 
also as the first paper of the Executive Documents of 

419 



GOVER.NOBSOF MINNESOTA. 

Minnesota for 1902 (St. Paxil, 1903). Keferring to the 
labor laws of this state, he said: 

It would be difficult to find a community where labor 
troubles are fewer than in Minnesota. While other nations, 
and many sections of our own country, have been disturbed 

by serious strikes and lock-outs, culminating in violence and 

bloodshed and resulting in the loss of many millions of dol- 
lars both to labor and capital, our state has been singularly 
free from them. The inhuman employment of children, the 
unlawful importation of cheap and pauper labor, has not 
disgraced the records of any industry in our fair state. Our 
fortunate condition in this respect is due to our wise statutory 
provision enacted in behalf of labor, and to the enforcement 
of these statutes. 

Our state received one of the five medals which were 
awarded at the Paris Exposition as first prize for the best 
labor laws, so that our enactments on this subject have at- 
tracted international attention. 

The biennial message of Van Sant at the end of his 
administration, January 4, 1905, was published as a 
pamphlet of thirty-six pages (Minneapolis, 1905). On 
the subject of needed reforms in taxation, he said: 

* * * I am satisfied that it will not be possible to 
enact and pass an entire tax code during a single session of the 
legislature. Too much opposition is aroused, for a combination 
of every interest opposed unites against the measure. The 
failure of the recent extra session confirms this view. However, 
an examination of the report of the special Tax Commission 
will disclose the fact that in order to frame adequate legisla- 
tion and fully meet the requirements for satisfactory tax 
laws, amendments to our state constitution must be made. 
With this in view the legislature has heretofore caused certain 
proposed amendments to be submitted to the people, but 
indifference has prevailed to such an extent that the requi- 
site number of votes was lacking. That the people should 
again be afforded an opportunity to pass upon proposed amend- 
ments that will give the legislature broader scope in the mat- 
ter of tax legislation is imperative. 

The work of the State Board of Control, which be- 
gan in 1902, is heartily commended, as follows: 

* * * The Board of, Control has fully justified all that 
has been claimed for it. Opposition has practically ceased, 

420 



SAMUEL KINXAH VAN SANT. 

and in the near future there will be no adverse criticism. All 
the institutions directly under its charge are in a high state 
of efficiency, and the great saving to the state has been se- 
cured without in any way neglecting the wards of the state. 
In fact, they were never, better and more humanely cared 
for. 

It is matter of the greatest satisfaction to me, as it 
must be to our citizens generally, that the Board of Con- 
trol has accomplished so much in so short a time. It is due 
wholly to the business-like methods employed, and to the 
faithful and painstaking work of the members of the board. 
Another factor that has been most essential to success, is 
the entire divorcement of politics from the management of 
the various institutions. No man is selected or retained in 
position on account of his party affiliations or his political 
influence. * * * 

Advising the erection of a statue of Governor Ram- 
sey in the Capitol at Washington, Governor Van Sant 
spoke eloquently as follows: 

This state owes much to the labors, wisdom and patriot- 
ism of our pioneers and founders, among whom Alexander 
Ramsey, our first Territorial Governor, may be justly named 
as the most eminent for his distinguished public services to 
the state and to the nation. Before he was appointed by 
President Taylor to the governorship of the Territory of 
Minnesota in 1849, he had already represented his Pennsyl- 
vania district for two years in Congress. With much ex- 
perience in public affairs, he came to Minnesota at the age 
of thirty-three, and through the remainder of his long life 
for more than half a century, he was the most prominent citi- 
zen of this territory and state. As Governor of the state 
at the beginning to the Civil War, he was the first to proffer 
troops to President Lincoln; from 1863 to 1875 he was 
United States Senator from Minnesota; and from 1879 to 
1881 he was Secretary of War. His other services to this 
state in making treaties with the Indians, securing lands for 
settlement, in laying the foundation of our magnificent 
school fund, together with his noble personal and private 
character, were influential not less than his work in national 
councils, to make him the greatest and most beloved citizen 
of Minnesota. 

.Each state of the Union is privileged to place two sta- 
tues of the citizens whom the state most delights to honor in 
. the National Capitol. Let one of them be the statue of 
Alexander Ramsey. Now that he has passed from our midst, 
it will be a most befitting tribute that the legislature, repre- 
senting all our people, honor his memory with this evidence 
of love and esteem. 

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JOHN A. JOHNSON. 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON 

Sixteenth Governor of the State of Min- 
nesota, was born near St, Peter, Minne- 
sota, July 28, 1861. He was of humble 
parentage and suffered all the inconven- 
iences of early poverty. He became a 
newspaper editor. In 1898-1902 he was 
a state senator, and on January 4, 1905, 
he .became governor of Minnesota, 
which position he still fills. 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON 

SIXTEENTH GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA 

January 4, 1905 



WELLNIGH fifty years of statehood have 
brought us to that period when Minnesota's na- 
tive sons begin to appear in the arena of her political 
' life. Hitherto our governors had been born in other 
states and reared under other influences. But the time 
had come when one of her own sons, "native here and 
to the manner born," was to be called to the head of 
. the state. 

Born in a frontier cabin, his eyes early familiar 
with trappers, hunters and Indians, John A. Johnson 
grew with the young state, a part . and parcel of the 
commonwealth itself. He is distinctly, in his individu- 
ality of character and in all his environment, a full- 
blooded Minnesotan. 

The extraordinary scenes of his early youth must 
have made a vivid impression on his plastic mind. 
He saw the tomahawk and rifle gleam in a terrible har- 
vest, as neighbors and friends fell victims to the red 
wave of destruction. He witnessed the devouring swarms 
of grasshoppers that for three years devastated the val- 

425 



GOVERNOES OF MINNESOTA. 

ley of the Minnesota. He beheld companies of Union 
soldiers, with glittering bayonets, marching southward 
to the fields of internecine strife. Slowly he saw the 
country rise to prosperity from the terrible effects of 
barbaric and civil wars, and it grew as he grew, the two 
advancing together. Amid such dramatic surroundings 
he was nursed from childhood to manhood. By all 
these things and a thousand tender ties is he knit in 
heart and soul to his native state. He is the only one 
of our governors who can truly and appreeiatingly 
utter the noble acclaim of Walter Scott, "This is my 
own, my native land!" 

John Albert Johnson was born in a cabin not far 
from the then hamlet of St. Peter, Nicollet county, Min- 
nesota, July 28, 1861. From this humble home the 
family was driven into the town for safety during the 
Sioux Indian raid, in 1862, where they made a tem- 
porary residence in a small, frame house. Both the 
cabin and the house have disappeared before the march 
of improvement. His family were poor and his child- 
hood was passed amid the inconveniences of poverty, 
with humble surroundings. His early life can be epito- 
mized in a single line of Gray's immortal Elegy, "The 
short and simple annals of the poor." For a brief period 
he attended the common schools of the town. 

It is pretty difficult for the boy of today to proper- 
ly appreciate what young Johnson's school deprivations 
were. Leaving school before he was thirteen years of 
age, there were no seventh and eighth grades for him, 

426 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

and the present High School system was not in opera- 
tion. His school days ended when other boys had but 
fairly begun. He was compelled to earn his bread and 
contribute to the support of the family, by reason of the 
moral lapse of his father. 

But for a certain innate tendency to industry in 
the boy, out of school he might have drifted into idle- 
ness, and then into crime. But his impulses were right, 
and his mother's influence was behind him. His first 
employment was in a grocery store. But in two years he 
secured a better and more permanent position in a drug 
store, with Henry Jones, the proprietor, who is still 
living and often recalls, with pride, the faithful services 
of the intelligent and active boy. He remained with 
Henry Jones for nearly ten years, and thoroughly learn- 
ed the business, and is a good pharmacist today. 

It was while washing bottles in the sink and com- 
pounding drugs that he developed a taste for reading. 
With an omnivorous appetite, he read everything within 
reach. But a kind friend undertook to give direction to 
his tastes, and well-selected works were lent him, which 
he devoured with avidity. The small local library now 
supplied his growing appetite for reading and gave a 
wider scope to his improving literary taste. During 
these years he developed an intellectual relish for de- 
bate, and participated in local discussions, and was re- 
garded as a local orator. 

Meantime, he never forgot his widowed mother, and 
gave liberally of his means to aid her and support the 

427 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

family. The "washing*' business had long since dis- 
appeared. He had really become the head of the family, 
the provider and father of the little flock. About this 
time, for at least a year, he became bookkeeper and pay- 
master for a railway construction company. While ac- 
tive and industrious, he had developed no special inclina- 
tion for any particular business, but his mental activity 
and growing intelligence were remarked by . all. 

He had been born and raised a Lutheran, but 
drifted to the Presbyterian church where he became a 
pretty regular attendant He sang in the church choir, 
being possessed of a good tenor voice. He was later 
made a trustee of the church, and was devoted to its 
interests. 

It is one of the misfortunes of public life that the 
lives and services of those men who are nominated as 
candidates for high office are subjected not only to the 
severest criticism, but to unjust and captious cavilings 
by antagonistic politicians. Their personal record is 
not only subjected to the lime-light, but even the private 
, lives of their families are cruelly invaded and exposed 
to the shameless shafts of party malignity. It was re- 
corded that Johnson's father had, in his day, fallen a 
victim to dissipation. Some thoughtless political mana- 
gers, misconstruing the sentiment of eternal justice and 
generosity which prevades the great heart of the general 
public, thought to make political capital out of this un- 
fortunate circumstance. This insane piece of strategy 
proved a veritable boomerang to those who attempted to 

428 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

use it, for, tragic though it was, it developed qualities 
in young Johnson's personal character which placed upon 
him, so far as he was concerned, a crown of honor, com- 
pelling the respect and admiration of all who, like the 
writer, knew the facts. The character of Johnson's 
noble mother, and his own character, shone the brighter 
by reason of the sad fact that one so near and dear, and 
personally so kind and good, suffered from an incur- 
able alcoholic dementia. Over the fateful error of this 
kind man's only sin, let the curtain of oblivion tenderly 
fall. 

But if the sire in weakness fell with an infirmity 
all his own, what tender compensation came to the boy 
in the care and devotion of his mother ! A maiden's 
love, though fragrant with kisses, may be as fickle as 
the sea; but a true mother's love never dies. 

Mrs. Caroline Johnson, through all her life of sor- 
row, proved herself a strong and energetic woman, with 
her vigorous mind and soul keenly alive to the necessi- 
ties of her little family. She was more than simply a 
good woman; she was a brave and thoughtful woman, 
who realized that misfortune had made her the head of 
the family, and she met the situation with character- 
istic fortitude. She was physically a strong person, and 
bequeathed to her son a good constitution. She was 
left without resources, and for the support of her little 
family she resorted to that kind of work which has been 
the dependence of so many women in misfortune, she 
took in washing. Many people of St. Peter yet remem- 

429 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

ber young John's appearnce on the street, when, with his 
little wagon, he brought and carried his mother's 
washing to her patrons. 

America's uncrowned queen today is the true mother. 
The sturdy blood of the Norsemen flowed in Mrs. John- 
son's veins, and misfortunes brought her noble virtues 
into activity. The world is full of examples of what so 
many men of force and ability owe to the mother that 
bore them. It was true of Napoleon, of Washington, of 
Horace Greeley, and a score of great names that suggest 
themselves to the mind. The great Emperor said, "The 
want of France is more true mothers." Men of marked 
intellectual power and great strength of character in- 
herit these salient features from the mother, and not 
from the father. The great hereditary law in the trans- 
mission of lofty traits works through the mother from 
undoubted physiological reasons, if from no other cause. 
"The woman is the mother, the mother is life, and life 
is love." 

Mrs. Caroline Johnson gave her son all she had, — 
physical and mental vigor. And here it is worthy of 
note that the two most distinguished men who have 
come to us from the land of the Sagas, Senator Knute 
Nelson, and John Albert Johnson, were each the son 
of a widowed mother; and in each case the mothers were 
strong and energetic in mind and body, and stamped 
indelibly upon their offspring those solid traits which 
were the inspiring cause of their success. These two 
noble mothers, who in their widowhood so bravely fought 

430 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

the battles of life for sons who have honored the state, 
recall the splendid poem by Joaquin Miller, "The Bravest 
Battle," given in manuscript by the poet to a visitor 
at his home. It is so singularly appropriate that I 
cannot hesitate to *quote it in honor of these dauntless 
Norse mothers: 

THE BRAVEST BATTLE. 

The bravest battle that ever was fought, 
Shall I tell you where and when? 

On the maps of the world you'll find it not, 
'Twas fought by the mothers of men. 

Nay, not with cannon or battle shot, 

With sword or nobler pen, 

Nay, not with eloquent word or thought 

From mouths of wonderful men. 

But deep in a walled up woman's heart, 

Of woman who would not yield, 
But bravely, silently bore her part, 

Lo, there is that battle iield. 

No marshalling troops, no bivouac song, 

No banners to gleam and wave, 
And oh! those battles they last so long, 

From babyhood to the grave. 

Yet faithful still as a bridge of stars, 
She fights in her walled up town, 

Fights on and on thro' the endless wars, 
Then silent, unseen goes down. 

Oh! ye with banners and battle shot, 

With shout of soldiers' praise, 
I tell you the kingliest victories fought 

Are fought in the silent ways. 

Oh! spotless woman in world of shame, 

With splendid, silent scorn, 
Go back to God as white as you came, 

The kingliest warrior born. 

43t 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

The noble mother of Governor Johnson died in 
1906, but not till she had the proud satisfaction of see- 
ing her son achieve distinguished honors. Both of his 
parents came from distant and grand old Sweden, the 
home of the Norsemen and the heroes of the sagas. The 
father, Gustav Johnson, was born of a good family, and 
resided in Sweden until he was thirty-three years old. 
He inherited money which he squandered in riotous 
living. He had learned the trade of a blacksmith. 
Friends of the family brought him to America on con- 
dition that he would reform. Temporary reformation 
followed, during which he met for the first time a 
noble and sturdy Swedish girl, named Caroline Haden. 
Sh£ had early lost her parents by disease, and she, too, 
came to America with friends. She had two brothers, 
but they had floated away before in the great stream 
of emigration, and she never met them again. Thus 
these two lone people met in a foreign land, with no 
tie behind them save that of a common country and a 
common language. He never told of his family nor his 
ancestry; and she had lost her parents and all known 
relatives. Sympathy and solitude brought them to- 
gether in St. Peter, and they were married. Their 
hearts and their misfortunes were blended. Then came 
several years of reasonable contentment, and in these 
comparatively happy days four children were born. 
But in the midst of these pleasant years an unexpected 
stroke came. Old appetites resumed their sway over 
the husband, and he gradually fell, never again to re- 

432 



JOHN ALBBET JOHNSON. 

gain his manhood; and, at last, wandering away, he 
died, and in obscurity was buried. 

The fruit of this marriage was three sons and a 
daughter. The sons are Edward, now engineer at the 
Hospital of the Asylum for the Insane at St. Peter; 
John Albert, the governor of Minnesota; and Frederick 
W., proprietor of the well known "Dakota House" in 
New Ulm; and the daughter, Hattie, has long been a 
popular and efficient teacher in the public schools of 
St. Peter. 

Giving good service in the drug store, and working 
courageously with his mother to support the family, John 
attained the age of twenty-five years. The local Demo- 
cratic paper at this time lost its editor and proprietor 
by sickness. The mechanical department of the paper 
had been in the hands of H, J. Essler, a practical 
printer, a man of fine business qualities and integrity of 
character. He needed an editorial partner to purchase, 
with him, the paper. The leading local Democrats cast 
about for a proper man to sit upon the tripod and wield 
the pen editorial. It was held that young Johnson was 
equal to anything he had yet undertaken, and four of 
the leading Democrats of the town advanced the money, 
and he became, in 1886, joint proprietor with Essler of 
the St. Peter Herald, It was a turning point in John 
A. Johnson's career. Without newspaper experience, 
even without experience as a writer in any way, .yet with 
recognized talent, great industry and intelligence, he 

28 433 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

very soon became an editor of force and vigor. In 
brief, he was a newspaper success. 

It requires a good deal of tact and talent to be a 
successful country newspaper editor. In the great dail- 
ies of the cities, there is an editor to each department 
and he is responsible only for one subject matter; but 
the country newspaper editor must cover all topics, — in 
fact, be encyclopaedic. Johnson industriously gathered 
all the local news and wrote intelligently on general top- 
ics. He steadily won his way with his editorial brethren 
of the state. He was always firm and independent, but 
pacific, avoiding all hostile demonstrations. This peace- 
able disposition was characteristic of the man. Had ]je 
selected the pulpit for a profession, he certainly would 
have embraced the doctrine of unlimited salvation, for 
he is too pleasant and polite to send any unfortunate 
victim to that place not found on the map geographical. 

In 1891 he was elected secretary of the State Edi- 
torial Association. In 1893 he was elected president of 
that body, when only thirty-two years of age. He was 
noted among the members as the most graceful and easy 
off-hand speaker in the Association, and that gave him 
great influence among the members. His good relations 
with his brother editors was fortunate for him when he 
became a candidate for governor, for every country paper 
in the state had for him only kindly words and cordial 
good wishes. 

He had decided military tastes, and for eight years 
was a member of the Minnesota National Guard, and 

434 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

was elected captain of the Second regiment. The regi- 
mentals became his tall, erect form. During this pe- 
riod/ he became secretary of the Nicollet County Fair 
Association, and managed it with such vigor and at- 
tention to details that it became a great success. 

.He was a member of that lively order, the Elks, 
and also of the Woodmen's Association. He was the ac- 
tive spirit in securing local lectures, and, indeed, in- 
tellectual entertainments always had his cordial support. 
He was a good dancer and seldom missed a cotillion, and 
was exceedingly popular with the ladies. In fact, he was 
the all-round man of the town, ready for every public 
enterprise and every innocent diversion. But he never 
demeaned himself in his personal conduct, but was al- 
ways a gentleman under all circumstances. Always in- 
dustrious, alert, gallant and chivalric in his deportment, 
he had won a high position in the community and in 
the best social circles. He had the bearing of a man 
who was a blue-blood by lineage, and yet he was but 
the blacksmith's son. He had more of the patrician 
than the plebeian. Nature's mark of distinction was 
upon him. Yet he was obliging, courteous and urbane 
to all. He did not expect notoriety, but it came to him 
by gradual development. He was always modest enough 
to underestimate his abilities. We believe that he was 
always surprised at his success. In truth, more men 
are surprised at their own success than at their failures. 
John was not pessimistic. Very few successful men plan 



435 



GOVERNORS OE MINNESOTA. 

and shape their careers from the beginning, and surely 
he did not. 

That a man so attractive and popular, in a country 
where every one is a politician, should turn his atten- 
tion to the science of government, was to be expected. 
He was a devoted follower of President Cleveland on. the 
revision of the tariff. But his county was overwhelm- 
ingly Republican. He himself was early inclined that 
way, but the tariff question controlled his action. How- 
ever, in 1888, the Democrats of Nicollet county ven- 
tured to nominate him for representative in the legis- 
lature. As was expected, he was defeated by Charles 
E. Davis, a Republican, by a margin of 126 votes in a 
strong Republican eoui^ty. But this canvass marked his 
entrance into the arena of politics, and convinced his 
friends that he was "Available" material for future use. 

In 1898, he was nominated for the state senate by 
the Democratic convention. In the canvass which fol- 
lowed he showed his tact and shrewdness as a practical 
politician. While his Republican opponent discussed the 
tariff and other great national questions, with which the 
senate had nothing to do, Johnson interested himself and 
the voters with a number of questions of state policy, 
which were living issues, — the grading of wheat, the 
manufacture of binding twine, the condition of the 
state penitentiary, state taxation, and such home matters. 
The result was his election to the state senate by a ma- 
jority of 125. His opponent was Professor C. J. Carl* 



436 



JOHN ALBEET JOHNSON. 

son, of Gustavus Adolphus College, a man of fine stand- 
ing and culture. 

Senator Johnson became very popular with his 
brother senators, and at once took a high position in 
that body. He made one speech which commanded 
state-wide attention. The powers of the Board of Con- 
trol were under consideration. He maintained that the 
management of the finances of the State University 
should be placed under the control of that body. So vig- 
orously did he argue that he carried his point against 
all opposition in both branches. The prodigality of the 
Board of Kegents has more than once endangered appro- 
priations for the University, and the need of a re- 
straining hand is still felt. 

As a senator, in general, he was a genial, good- 
natured, magnetic man, and as a conversationalist he 
was very entertaining. The overwhelming Bepublican 
majority in the legislature prevented his accomplishing 
much. His four years in the State Senate, however, ap- 
peared' to be satisfactory to his constituents, and he was 
again, in 1903, nominated for re-election. He was de- 
feated by a Swedish Kepublican, Hon. C. A. Johnson. 
This defeat proved of the greatest importance to his 
future career. There was a provision of law that no 
legislator could be a candidate for any office which was 
in any wise affected by any law passed while he was a 
member of the legislature. His defeat, which was by a 
very narrow margin, was therefore to him a great good 
fortune. It was subsequently called """Johnson's luck " 

437 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Had he been elected, he would have been ineligible to 
the office of governor. As it was he appeared, by this 
defeat, to be retired to the sanctum of the St. Peter 
Herald, with apparently little hope of further political 
honors. But fortune's political wheel has many a capri- 
cious turn, and she touched the "washerwoman's son" 
with her magic wand. Henceforth he becomes the most 
picturesque figure of all our governors. 

St. Peter has been singularly fortunate in respect 
to its crop of governors. There is no city in the state, 
and probably none other in the United States, which 
has given more men to the governor's chair than St. 
Peter. Many reasons have conspired to produce this 
harvest of state officials. In its infant days (1853) 
.Willis A. Gorman was sent by President Pierce to suc- 
ceed ^Alexander Eamsey as governor of the territory. 
Governor Gorman was one of an organized company 
which purposed to make St. Peter the capital of the 
coming state. By this company the town was platted 
on a scale commensurate with its prospective greatness. 
It was given wide streets, sites for the capitol and other 
state buildings, and, in general, it was to be a model 
city. But fate forestalled these ambitious purposes. How 
the bill which was to make St. Peter the capital was 
sequestered by the perfidy of one Joseph Rolette, and 
never again seen, is one of the curious romances of Min- 
nesota's early history. The bubble burst; the Temple 
of Jupiter was not to be in Gorman's Borne. 



438 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

But as some compensation for the loss of the seat 
of government and its entourage, it has been favored with 
a distinguished line of governors and other state officials, 
which has given the place a peculiar distinction in the 
Commonwealth. Thence came Swift, Austin, McGiil, 
and now Johnson, to say nothing of Gorman, who, for a 
very brief period, lived in the town. Whether St. Peter 
has more such seeds within her breast, remains to be 
seen. A conservative and old fashioned town, she has 
accepted with dignity and composure the fortune and 
fame which have come to her, by reason of her guber- 
natorial fruitfulness. If we aspired to be classical, we 
might compare this town to the mother of the Gracchi, 
and she may be as justly proud of her sons. 

Many solutions of what has been called St. Peter's 
"luck*' have been suggested. One of these was the fact 
that the Central Lunatic Asylum, under the old regime, 
drew thither a Board of Trustees composed of the best 
men of the state, and thus centered political interest and 
cabal intrigues at this point. Near by, on the very edge 
of the city, is the spot where the great Treaty of Tra- 
verse des Sioux was made in 1851, which gave to Min- 
nesota its millions of acres and its territorial wealth. 
There, too, were the early trading posts with the Sioux, 
and the homes of early and able missionaries. During 
the Sioux war it was the center of military formations 
and outfitting expeditions. It was thus, from various 
causes, a historic spot, and was attractive to men of taste 
and political ambition. Just below the city, on the old 

439 



GOVEENOKS OF MINNESOTA. 

"school section," Charles E. Mandrau built the first 
elegant mansion in the valley of the Minnesota; and 
where that valiant cavalier and eminent jurist planted 
his flag, many good men followed. There were such 
noble spirits as J. K. Moore, editor of the Tribune; 
John and Harry Lamberton; F. A. Donahower; J. B. 
and A. L. Sackett; Henry A. Swift; Captain W. B. 
Dodd; E. E. Paulding; Major B. H. Randall;" C. S. 
Bryant; Dr. A. W. Daniels; Col. Benjamin F. Pratt; 
and Eggleston Cutting, the "Hoosier Schoolmaster." 
These are some of the splendid men by whom young 
Johnson was surrounded in his plastic days. We men- 
tion these facts to show that John A. Johnson, in spite 
of early poverty, was reared under inspiring skies with 
elevating associates and surroundings. 

August 30, 1904, the Democratic state convention 
was held at Minneapolis, and ex-senator John Albert 
Johnson was nominated by acclamation as candidate for 
governor. Captain W. H. Harries was chairman, and 
Hon. W. S. Hammond nominated Johnson. He read an 
acceptance speech which was well received. This was ab- 
solutely a case of the office seeking the man. The Demo- 
cratic party of Minnesota had been in diligent search 
for an available candidate for the executive office. Many 
personal friends and admirers, remembering Senator 
Johnson's genial style and decided ability, visited St. 
Peter and urged him to accept the nomination. But he 
was not very enthusiastic and looked upon the fight as 
a forlorn hope. He did not seem at all inclined to 

440 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

offer himself as a sacrifice upon the altar of his party. 
But strong, friendly influences finally won his consent, 
and he was nominated by acclamation with loud huzzas. 
Though the state was overwhelmingly Republican, 
here again came in "Johnson's luck/' Extraordinary 
conditions existed in the Republican party. The most 
bitter political and personal controversy which the state 
has ever seen sprang up. The celebrated Collins-Dunn 
fight was a battle royal. It divided the Republican 
strength on the gubernatorial head of the ticket, and it 
was lost, while the remainder of the Republican ticket 
was elected by the usual majorities. 

The result of the election was a surprise, and to 
no one a greater surprise than to Johnson himself. 
Untoward conditions marked the Republican campaign. 
It was highly defective in management; the pre-conven- 
tion fight left a bitter sting; and it was charged that 
railroad and lumber interests dominated the nominee. 
In the Twin Cities superhuman exertions were made, 
not to elect Johnson, but to defeat Dunn. Johnson's 
plurality over Dunn was 7,862. These votes were clearly 
accounted for in the Twin Cities. In the state he was 
a* minority governor. Thus it was demonstrated that 
outside of the cities Dunn had carried the state. "John- 
son's luck" had made him the Democratic candidate at 
the propitious moment. 

The whole vote for governor in 1904 was as fol- 
lows: For Robert C. Dunn, Republican, 140,130.; John 
A. Johnson, Democrat, 147,992; Charles W. Dorsett, 

441 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

Prohibition, 7,577; J. E. Nash, public Ownership, 5,810; 
and A. W. M. Anderson, Socialist-Labor, 2,293. The 
total vote outside of that received by Johnson was 155,- 
810, leaving Johnson in the whole state in a minority of 
7,818. 

The Johnson era was now being ushered in, and 
the good stars which shone at his birth did not forsake 
him. When he entered the new marble capitol, as the 
first governor to officiate there, he was absolutely an un- 
known quantity to the people at large. He entered upon 
the duties of the high office to which he had been so 
unexpectedly called with many misgivings as to his abil- 
ity to meet its requirements. The ego was not largely 
developed in the new governor. Self-conceit was no part 
of his mental structure. It sometimes required a good 
deal of persuasion on the part of his friends to con- 
vince him that he had ability to do things. This modesty 
and reserve was not assumed, it was innate. Upon no 
public man of whom the writer has any knowledge, has 
the law of mental and political evolution worked more 
progressively. With him improvement and development 
have been in orderly succession, as a flower from a bud. 
Of all sciences, that of politics maintains the highest 
public interest. He who materially aids in forming or 
helping the state, will always take high rank. Politics 
is the door to statesmanship. By this door Webster en- 
tered; by it Clay advanced to the Council Chamber of 
state. All politicians by no means become statesmen ; 
but all statesmen have been politicians in their day. 

442 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

Governor Johnson has all the aptitudes necessary 
to a successful politician of a high order, and possibly 
talent enough to advance to the highest grade. Certainly 
he has been equal to every position to which he has been 
advanced. Not in one thing has he yet failed to sat- 
isfy his friends and the public. As governor, he was 
put at once upon his own merits and capacity. The 
problems of his life were growing larger. His executive 
duties were performed with marked skill and ability. 

In his first message he took hold of the practical 
questions of the hour, and his recommendations were 
well received by both parties. The general topics dis- 
cussed in an annual message are usually too ephemeral in 
their character to be included in a history of this kind. 
But there were some things in the message which did 
not harmonize squarely with Democratic beliefs. 

It should be noticed here that while Governor John- 
son was elected as a Democrat, he is not the only Demo- 
crat who ever carried the state. Henry Hastings Sibley, 
the man who was the first governor of the state, was of 
that party. He was elected in 1858 by a very narrow 
majority. In 1898, Hon. John Lind was elected gov- 
ernor as a Democrat and sat, as such, in the executive 
chair two years. The rest of the state ticket, however, 
was Eepublican then under Lind, as now under Johnson. 

In the important matter of appointments, a duty 
always delicate and exposed to censorious criticism, his 
methods were fair and his judgment well approved. He 
was not unmindful of his large Eepublican support, and 

443 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

a number of able men of that party were retained in 
office, as in the case of the superintendent of public in- 
struction and the dairy department. Heads of depart- 
ments were told to manage their offices without reference 
to politics. Surely no executive has been more fair and 
wary in selecting his official family. The large Repub- 
lican majority in both branches of the legislature was 
responsible for the measures passed; but an examination 
of his recommendations, and of the measures considered 
and which became laws, shows a remarkable harmony of 
sentiment between the executive and legislative branches 
of the government. Caution and common sense were 
his guides, and general success crowned his executive 
career. His appointive methods were clearly shown later, 
when the law establishing a permanent Tax Commission 
was passed. When he transmitted to the senate the 
names of Lord, Hall, and McVey, a non-political body, 
the senate without delay confirmed these appointments 
by a rising vote. ' 

Johnson's good administration and personal deport- 
ment won for him a unanimous re-nomination at the 
Democratic state convention, in Minneapolis, September 
4, 1906. He had made good all his promises, and from 
every portion of the state the sentiment seemed to be 
."One good term deserves another." He stood free from 
what is termed "boss rule," and from timber, mining, 
and railroad domination. He had taken the department 
of education out of politics. His Board of Equaliza- 
tion, on his insistence, had with justice largely increased 

444 



JOHN ALBEET JOHNSON. 

the assessed valuation of the iron mines. He had de- 
clared for a two cent passenger rate, and for the general 
abolition of the free pass system, and for lower rates on 
grain and merchandise. His progressive stand for insur- 
ance reform has even commanded national recognition. 
These, and other kindred reasons, seemed to foreshadow 
his re-election. Even Bepublican papers, of high repute 
endorsed the vigor of his administration and the high 
character of his performance. He had visited nearly 
every portion of the state, and delivered addresses at 
county fairs, before schools and colleges, and at Normal 
School commencements, and the people had become fam- 
iliar with his presence and magnetic manner, and were 
proud of their governor. 

With these great advantages he entered upon his 
celebrated canvass for re-election. With great elasticity 
of constitution, he could endure the severest labor. He 
visited nearly every one of the eighty-two counties of the 
state. He called out immense audiences and addressed 
more Minnesotans than any other governor had ever 
done. He made almost an incredible number of speeches 
for a single campaign. 

There was something of romance about his career 
which attracted public attention. The first governor to 
be born on Minnesota soil ; the sudden rise of the washer- 
woman's son to be the most conspicuous man in the 
state; his early poverty and his fight against adversity; 
coming like Lincoln from the cabin to the capitol, — 
all these things everywhere struck a responsive chord. 

445 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

People like their heroes out of the ordinary. A good 
speaker, with attractive and engaging ways, with an as- 
sured racial following, and with the prestige of a pre- 
vious victory, he entered the contest with a vast advan- 
tage over his competitor. 

His Republican competitor was Hon. A. L. Cole, of 
Cass county. It was the misfortune of Mr. Cole that 
he was not widely known, and he was illy understood. 
He entered the canvass in very poor health. He had not 
been in public life enough to make a pronounced record. 
His purposes and ability were quite unknown to the 
public. It was charged against him, with very damag- 
ing effect, that he had been nominated through the ma- 
chinations of the so-called "interests," that is the timber 
and railroad power. His physical condition prevented 
his making a vigorous and stirring campaign, refuting 
these unjust assertions. He was a ^ gentleman of good 
ability, of clean personal character, and a good repre- 
sentative of the northern portion of the state, which 
heretofore had not had a candidate for governor. He 
failed, however, to arouse Republican enthusiasm, and 
thousands of Republicans absented themselves from the 
polls. In the Second Congressional district, Hon. James 
T. McCleary assumed a spectacular attitude against "tar- 
iff reform," which did much to defeat the Republican 
state ticket. He refused his constituents the boon for 
which they pled. The result was not only his own de- 
feat, but carried with it a decided weakening effect upon 
the state ticket. Handicapped with all these things, Colte 

446 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

went to defeat. The result was the greatest personal tri- 
umph in the history of the state. The votes were cast 
for Johnson, not for his party. There is one word which 
symbolizes Johnson's success, — "personality." Conjectures 
that some candidate other than Cole would have been 
successful, are idle. Johnson's personality and popul- 
arity would have brought him victory under conditions 
then existing, no matter who his opponent might have 
been. Mr. Cole took his defeat with becoming grace and 
dignity, and was banquetted by his friends on his return 
to his home where he was loved and appreciated. 

Johnson's total vote was 168,480, against 96,162 
for Cole. Johnson's plurality was 72,318. An analysis 
of this extraordinary vote would lead to some curious 
discoveries, but to pursue these would be idle. The fact 
remains that John Albert Johnson received the most 
flattering vote ever given a candidate for governor in 
Minnesota. Charles W. Dorsett, the candidate of the 
Prohibition party, received 7,223 votes; and 0. E. 
Lofthus, of the Public Ownership party, 4,646 votes. 

It is pertinent to make some inquiry into the things 
for which Governor Johnson stands in our state policies, 
and which have contributed their share, outside of his 
personality, in making him the popular idol he unques- 
tionably is. In his public addresses and in the admin- 
istration of the office of governor, one controlling senti- 
ment which he has always enforced is that there must 
be a strict obedience to the law. True, this is an axio- 
matic principle which ought to be the guide of every 

447 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

chief executive. But it must be admitted that in many 
special ways he has. proved a vigorous enforcer of the 
law. He has followed precept by example. 

Concerning railroad regulation, a matter univer- 
sally considered to be of vital importance, he has been 
fully abreast of public sentiment, if not a leader in its 
thought. He vigorously advocated the two cent fare 
and the abolition of passes. His official utterances did 
much to force the enactment of laws putting into effect 
these provisions demanded by public sentiment. It may 
be^ observed that Governor Hughes of New York, & pro- 
gressive and able man, did not approve the legal two 
cent rate, but remanded the question to a commission. 
Governor Johnson in his first message discussed with 
ability the general question of railroad regulation. He 
presented a comparative statement of freight rates in 
this and adjoining states. This revealed the fact that 
Minnesota was paying about one-third higher rates than 
Iowa on the south and Canada on the north. The re- 
sult was his timely letter to the Railroad Commission, in- 
sisting on securing a substantial reduction in merchan- 
dise rates. He has had the courage to make freight and 
passenger rates an issue before the people. 

His reforms in the insurance department attracted 
wide public attention. Even President Roosevelt, in a 
special message to Congress, gave Governor Johnson 
credit for instituting the most important insurance re- 
forms growing out of the recent insurance exposures. 
The important Chicago insurance conference, in 1906, 

448 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

over which he presided, resulted in great reforms in 
many states, following his lead on that subject in Min- 
nesota, 

He advocated the placing of suburban electric lines 
under the control of the Bailroad Commission. This was 
done, and the result was that the Board of Equaliza- 
tion increased the tax duplicate not less than two mil- 
lions of dollars. 

Governor Johnson's decided stand in favor of a tax 
commission, after some misgivings as to the personnel 
of the commission, became a law. Here he manifested 
his good sense by taking the whole question of taxation 
out of politics by the appointment of a non-partisan com- 
mission of the highest personal character. 

While not a political issue, one policy for which 
the governor has constantly stood, and for which his 
friends claim he is entitled to more credit than for any 
other one thing, is that he has removed from the mire of 
partisan politics the educational structure of the state. 
Upon assuming the office of governor, he declared that 
the educational department, in the persons of the state 
superintendent of public instruction and those in that 
office, must be removed from politics. He made absol- 
utely no change in the faculty of the University, except 
such changes as were suggested by a desire for the ele- 
vation of the standard of scholarship of that institution. 
It is probably true that ninety per cent of the instructors 
in the University are of a different political faith from 
that of the present state administration, and yet no man 

29 449 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

has felt that his position was in the slightest degree 
jeopardized by the incoming of a Democratic administra- 
tion, and by the appointment of Democrats to the Board 
of Regents. The result is that the educational people 
of the state believe that they have in the governor a true 
and consistent friend rather than a partisan executive. 

Governor Johnson's handling of the labor situation 
on the iron ranges of Norther^ Minnesota during the 
summer of 1907, is by many of his friends regarded as a 
master stroke of diplomacy. Called upon by the officials 
of two counties to order the militia to the scene of the 
trouble, he went personally to the mining towns and con- 
ferred with officials and strike leaders regarding the 
labor situation. Later, when the conditions seemed to be 
at a more acute stage, he conceived the idea of sending 
trusted representatives to investigate and report to him 
in detail conditions on the ranges. The result of their 
report was a proclamation in which the governor out- 
lined to the representative belligerents what their rights 
were under the law, and he counselled in vigorous terms 
that they keep strictly within the letter of the law. This 
proclamation was accepted by both sides to the contro- 
versy, and after this time there was practically no " vio- 
lence or threats of violence. He had accomplished by 
peaceful means what in many states an armed force, had 
been unable to do. 

There are many other questions of a subordinate 
character wherf he has indicated his convictions as to 



450 



JOHN ALBEBT JOHNSON. 

state matters, but they are too ephemeral to be given in 
this history. 

Reference to national questions is hardly to be 
considered within the scope of these state biographies, 
but no complete understanding of Governor Johnson's 
grasp of mind can well be had without a brief reference 
to his views on questions of national import. 

He has long entertained the conviction that real and 
immediate revision of the tariff is an issue of paramount 
importance, not only because of its many unjust exac- 
tions for the benefit of the few, but because he grasps 
the intimate relation between the tariff and the trusts, 
and because it proves a positive restriction to some of 
our foreign trade. 

He greatly prefers state regulation of railways, as 
against such control by the national government, for he 
is apprehensive of too great a centralization of power in 
the general government. 

He believes in an income tax and an inheritance 
tax; and while such taxes are in a measure of a con- 
fiscatory nature, yet, because most of our great fortunes 
have been mainly acquired through unjust and un- 
equal special privileges, they may, on such grounds, be 
considered justifiable. 

He believes in the largest possible measure of state 
rights consistent with efficient national administration. 
He is a believer in the freest trade relations with Cana- 
da, but is opposed to the principle involved in ac- 
quiring distant outlying dependencies, such, as the Phi- 

m 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

lippines. He has no pet political fad. He is an earnest, 
progressive American, and a strong believer in Ameri- 
can institutions and a grand American destiny. 

Governor Johnson's outlook for his state and country 
are always of the optimistic type. He believes in the 
certainty of the nation's grand future, as he believes 
in the Christian's hope and anchor of the soul. The 
writer calls him a symmetrical man of rare endow- 
ments, and a worthy leader among those to whom it is 
given to shape the progress of the country. 

In his rjolitical beliefs, so far as national ques- 
tions are concerned, he should be denominated a Demo- 
crat, — a Jeffersonian Democrat, if you please, if that de- 
scription settles anything definite in the public mind. 
If President Roosevelt is defined, with some restrictions, 
as a Republican, so also may Johnson be defined as a 
Demperat. There is a large degree of sanity in John- 
son's mental composition, which prevents him from being 
carried away by political vagaries, such as government 
ownership of railroads by state . or nation. Self -poised 
and clear-minded, such chimeras do not appeal to his 
sober judgment. It is, therefore, safe to say that, 
by the very conditions of his nature, he is a conserva- 
tive Democrat. He cannot be enticed into the fields 
of folly. 

It may be observed here that the two great parties, 
whether they admit it or not, are moving quite on par- 
allel lines as to many great questions. If a leader pos- 
sessing the public confidence could be found, we might 

452 



JOHN ALBEET JOHNSON. 

have an era rivalling that of James Monroe, who re- 
ceived the entire electoral vote except one; and that vote 
was given with the statement that no man, save the 
"Father of his country," should have the honor of re- 
ceiving the unanimous electoral vote. The line between 
the parties at this time is much like the separation be- 
tween the Methodist churches, North and South, a differ- 
ence without a distinction of creed or faith. It is tra- 
ditional antagonism which chiefly differentiates be- 
tween the two parties; and allied to this, the vena] 
one of who shall distribute the rewards of victory. 

Though thousands of Eepublicans in this state voted 
for Johnson, it was solely on grounds of personal admir- 
ation and confidence, and not because he varied a scin- 
tilla from recognized Democratic doctrines. In his early 
youth he leaned to the Republican party; but, tariff re- 
vision becoming, in his judgment, of paramount impor- 
tance, he followed Cleveland, and since has consistently 
cast his lot with the party of Jefferson. He is always 
Democratic, but never demagogic. 

We have here noted and summarized the policies 
of the state and nation for which Governor Johnson 
may safely be said to stand. They are the expressions 
of his thought and beliefs on current public questions. 
By these he may be judged politically. But if you will 
inquire deeper into the causes of his remarkable popular- 
ity and success, it is not so much political convictions as 
his fortunate personality which is the basis of his achieve- 
ment. He is not endowed with any fabulous powers or 

453 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

superhuman virtues, — he is simply Johnson! His speech- 
es will not fill the volumes of American eloquence; 
but his graceful manner, attractive ways, and evident 
sincerity, are better than declamation. There are cer- 
tain characteristics and qualities in a public man which 
have a powerful influence as to his popularity. It is 
quite impossible to analyze or name them. It is nei- 
ther face, form, speech, style, mode or manner; it 
is the tout ensembhj — the whole taken together. Web- 
ster's dignity chilled; Clay's attractive manners won the 
world. The old Latin aphorism, poeta nascitur, non fit, 
is equally applicable to native, graceful manners. They 
are born to the man, not made. Nor could any man be 
more innocent of affectation, that horrid assumption of 
a grace not possessed. 

His speeches carry substance and weight without the 
actor's part or any stage display. He has clear-cut 
ideas on all important questions of the time, and de- 
livers them in a way that commands his audience and 
rivets complete attention. Indeed, he must be consider- 
ed a happy public speaker, always satisfying and gratify- 
ing his hearers. He has the fault of not preparing his 
speeches with care, which comes from his natural facil- 
ity of easy speaking. Those who have been early 
students, with scholarly attainments, are generally care- 
ful in preparation, as was Cushman K. Davis; but he 
who has the grace of easy speaking is apt to be negli- 
gent in preparation. 



454 



JOHN ALBEET JOHNSON. 

Governor Johnson is always accessible and sociable, 
yet dignified; kind and generous to all; cautions, but 
not timid; constant to bis principles and his party, 
but tolerant of the feelings and views of a political op- 
ponent. He has great skill in reading men, and is 
quick to seize an advantage. He is not indolent, but 
full of activity. There is an ever ready sense of humor, 
easy and of high relish, without any effort to shine, and 
invective is quite unknown to his manner of speech. 
In fact, he is born to be a successful American politi- 
cian. In this rare and unique combination, we find the 
elements of his popularity and much of the reason why 
he is the Democratic governor of a Kepublican state, 

For a moment we turn with pleasure from the con- 
tentions of politics to the more elevating and ennobling 
fields of literature. No more distinguished tribute 
could be paid to rising ability than the conferring of the 
high degree of LL. D., on Governor Johnson by the 
University of Pennsylvania, June 19, 1907. The recog- 
nition of this growing man by this ancient university 
was one of those acts which carry inspiration and hope 
to honorable ambition. Literature, from one of its high 
stations, confers honor upon a son of the West who had 
never, for a moment, tasted the advantages of high 
education. John A. Johnson and Abraham Lincoln 
were schooled in i:he same great university, — that of 
the world, — and their scholarship was about the same. 

Provost Harrison, of the University of Pennsylvania 
in his presentation of the Governor for the degree, along 

455 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

with his introduction to the students, made the fol- 
lowing flattering address. It is so appropriate and in 
such fine taste, that we quote it. 

We have invited to be. present John A. Johnson. His pa- 
rents come from distant and heroic Sweden, home of the Norse*- 
men and Sagas. Migrating to America, they moved westward 
to the wild and limitless plains across which still roamed the 
braves of the Sioux and the IJakota. Here this son was bom, 
and, as he grew to manhood, aided to transform uncultivated 
fields and tangled forests into agricultural communities and 
municipal life. Then he learned the art of printing, then jour- 
nalism, and afterwards politics. This was the realm where 
his ascendency prevailed. He won the regard of the people by 
his industry and his integrity, and by his devotion to their in- 
terests. They conferred upon him the office of State Sena- 
tor. Their confidence was strengthened as they observed his 
public eareer. Government, he declared, is but a political de- 
vice w r hereby all men are insured the fullest opportunity to 
avail themselves of the commercial and social conditions by 
which they are surrounded, or to create new forces from na- 
ture which will add to individual prosperity. His ultimate 
election and re-election as Governor of Minnesota came *by a 
natural law of political evolution. 

Of all sciences, that of politics is supreme. It furnishes 
the basic ideas out of which law, order and civilization grow. 
Organized knowledge — mathematics, physics, chemistry and me- 
chanics — follow only its recognized establishment. They cannot 
precede it. He who helps to form or maintain a State must 
always rank with the noblest figures in history. Men of this 
type create or preserve the human foundations on which art,, 
science, culture, morality and religion are built. It is difficult 
to overestimate their relation to our progress. 

We accord honor to one of the mastrer builders of the im- 
perial Northwest. For the civic virtues that he has displayed, 
as printer, journalist, and statesman, we, the Trustees, present 
him to you that he may receive the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Governor Johnson then delivered an eloquent ad- 
dress on "The University Man's Opportunity." This 
oration presents the governor in a new light, exhibiting 
his taste for the refinements of literature and the wide 
extent of his self-culture. 



456 



JOHN ALBERT JOHNSON. 

At the commencement of his second term in the 

# 

midst of unwonted success we part company with Gov- 
ernor Johnson. We have pursued his interesting history 
and remarkable career from the cabin of his birth to the 
marble palace of our governors. The story of his strug- 
gles and his success is a wonderful tale, the political 
romance of our state. With "no known ancestry, whether 
peasant, pirate, or lord, he was a Swede waif cast by 
chance into the great American alembic, and stamped, 
like true coin, with the American superscription. Sance 
then, his rise has been truly phenomenal, and at this 
time he appears to be the foremost man in the politics 
of the state. 

To discuss his future would be purely problematical. 
Yet in his early prime, only forty-seven years of age, with 
a good constitution, fine natural endowments, popular 
manners, courteous and urbane, a smart tactician, the 
idol of his party, and crowned with the halo of suc- 
cess, it would seem that his horoscope is very auspicious. 

There is no telling what the gods will do for a 
favorite child when once they set their jeweled fingers 
to reeling off his destiny. 

His influence on his party in the state has been to 
inject some living blood into coagulated veins. He is 
to them the man of hope, the star on their horizon. But 
can any other man step in and hold what he has done? 
His influence appears to be so purely individual that we 
may well ask, When he is gone, will not the fabric he has 
reared, dissolve? The English Commonwealth died 

457 



GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA. 

when Cromwell died. The Governor has individualized 
his party; he is the party. His good sense, however, will 
save him from trifling with his kingship. For ourself, 
we have faith in this virile son of Minnesota that he 
will frilly vindicate his right to a high niche in the 
Pantheon of the state's best men. 

In personal appearance Johnson is tall, six feet 
and a little more in stature, with the slightest possible 
stoop. He is rather loose-jointed, and somewhat Lin- 
eolnesque in his physical make-up. He has an ample 
forehead, and expressive eyes; his ample jaws are smooth 
shaven, and has • a decidedly pleasant facial expression. 
His hair is brown, and his mouth is of the Henry Clay 
style. He has a smile which is very much his own, 
and which is known as the "Johnson smile." He 
weighs one hundred and eighty pounds. 

Editor Johnson was married at St. Peter, June 1, 
1894, to Miss Elinore M. Preston. She was born in 
Wisconsin, but later her parents moved to Rochester, 
Minnesota, where they died. She was raised by the 
Catholic Sisters, and was educated at their school and in 
their faith in that city. Subsequently she went as a 
teacher of music and drawing to the parochial school 
in St. Peter. Here Mr. Johnson saw, wooed, and won 
her as his bride. She is a modest, cultured and ex- 
cellent lady, of fine manners, much admired in her cir- 
cle, and a worthy companion of her distinguished hus- 
band. 

458 



JOHN" ALBERT JOHNSON. 

Governor Johnson's inaugural message to the 
legislature, January 4, 1905, was published as a pamph- 
let of twenty-one pages (Minneapolis, 1905). In its 
concluding paragraph, he said: 

We are assembled today in the new capitol of the state. 
This splendid edifiee is a monument to the energy, prosperity 
and culture of our people. Whatever opposition may have ex- 
isted to its erection in the past, the people are now proud 
that its glittering dome overlooks the capital city of our be- 
loved state. This building is the property of the state, and 
was provided as a place in which should be transacted the 
business of the people. As their servants, you and I are com- 
missioned to perform the duties of our several offices in their 
interest. We should here dedicate ourselves to that service, 
pledging our zeal, our fidelity and our honest purpose in an 
endeavor to do our duty to the people who have reposed in 
us their confidence and their trust. We should build not for 
today alone, but that future generations may reap the re- 
ward of honest, patriotic effort. If there must be sacrifice, 
let it not be at the expense of the state. If we must regard 
political considerations, let us also remember that political 
parties are but the vehicles of good government, and that you 
and I will best serve the parties of our choice by a conscien- 
tious effort to serve but one master, and that master the 
sovereign people of the state of Minnesota. 

The biennial message delivered by Johnson to the 
thirty-fifth legislature, January 9, 1907, was published in 
fifty-six pages as a pamphlet, and as pages 585-640 in 
Volume I of the Executive Documents of Minnesota for 
1906 (Minneapolis, 1907). The first quarter part of 
this message deals with questions of taxation, making 
the following important recommendations : 

I would most urgently recommend legislation providing for 
the establishment of a permanent tax commission, which shall 
be empowered to make a careful and scientific study of this 
question and report from time to time, both to the executive 
officers and to the legislature. 

The commission should visit the several counties of the 
state annually, or at least bienially, and should be empow- 
ered to supervise the work of local assessors and boards, and 
provide rules to facilitate the performance of the duties of 

459 



GOVERNORS OP MINNESOTA. 

assessors and otherwise aid them in the work of securing equal 
and uniform assessments. * * * 

Concerning a proposed state department of mines, 

the governor said, in part: 

By reason of the vast interests of the state in mines and 
mineral properties, I herewith submit to you the advisability of 
organizing a new state department devoted to that subject 
and the creation of the position of state commissioner of 
mines, giving stich official powers and duties similar to those 
of the commissioners of insurance, labor, railroads and ware- 
houses, dairy and food, game and fish, or the superintendent 

of banks. * * * 

## * * *«• * * 

The fact that Minnesota today holds over one -half of 
the estimated iron ore reserve of the United States, and that 
our state school and other public institutions have greater 
mineral holdings than those of any other state in the Union, 
show the propriety and public value of such a department to 
the state, even if our past experience did not prove the nec- 
essity of additional state executive authority and machinery 
in the regulation and protection of its mineral interests. 

Other addresses of Governor Johnson, published as 
pamphlets, are these: 

Commercial and Political Integrity, a speech deliv- 
ered before the Merchants' Club of Chicago, February 
18, 19Q5; twenty-eight pages (Minneapolis, 1905). 

Minnesota and the Eailroads, a speech before the 
State Municipal League at St. Paul, January 10, 1906; 
eight pages. 

An Address at the Dedication" of Minnesota Mem- 
orials in the Vicksburg National Military Park, May 24, 
1907; published with the Eeport of the Minnesota 
Vicksburg Monument Commission, in its pages 50-52. 

Commencement Address at the University of Penn- 
sylvania, Philadelphia, June 19, 1907; thirty-one pages. 
On this occasion Governor Johnson received the honor- 
ary degree of Doctor of Laws from this University. 

460 



INDEX. 



Acker Post, G. A. R., 296. 

Acton, 91. 

Adams, President John, 322. 

Agricultural bill, Nelson amendment, 347-8. 

Agricultural School, University of Minnesota, 352, 418. 

Agricultural Society, 271, 310, 314, 363. 

Aitkin, William A., 80. 

Alaska, legislation, 348. 

Albion, Wis., 332, 333. 

Aldrich, Hon. Cyrus, 149. 

Alexandria, 334, 335, 351. 

Allen, Col. Alvaren, 307. 

Allouez, Claude, 9. 

American Fur Company 78. 

Ames, Dr. Albert A., 290, 291, 364, 379. 

Anderson, A. W. M., 442. 

Andrew, Gov. John A., 183. 

Andrews, Gen. C. C, 132, 281. 

Andrews, Rev. C. D., 215. 

Apple Creek, battle, 96. 

Apple tree blooming in August, 141. 

Argyle, Minn., 353. 

Arkansas, military service of Governor Gorman, 57. 

Arlington Cemetery, Washington, D. C, 216. 

Arnold, Mrs. W. J v author, 138. 

Astor, John Jacob, 79. 

Asylum for the Insane, St. Peter, 439. 

Atlantic cable, celebration, 1858, 45. 

Auerbach, Maurice, 175. 

Austin, Governor Hprace, 156, 165, 196, 285, 286, 289, 297, 298, 
359, 397, 439; biography, 167-182; messages and other pub- 
lished papers, 172, 182-187; birth and education, 170; teacher 
and law student, 170; coming to St. Peter, 170; service 
against the Sioux outbreak, 170-171; judge, 1864-69, 171, elected 
governor, 171; his administration, 172-173; defalcation by 
William Seeger, state treasurer, 174-176; later service by 
Governor Austin as auditor of the United States treasury 
and register of the U. S. land office in Fargo, N. D., 177; 
laws passed during his administration, 177; service as rail- 
road commissioner, 178; his later years, 178-179; death and 

461 ♦ 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

last letter to a friend, 179-181; marriage and family, 181- 
182; quotations from his messages, 182-186; tribute to 
Governor Swift, 182. 

Australian election law, 313. 

Averill, Gen. John T., 154. 

Bacon -Shakespeare question^ 342. 

Bailly, Alexis, 9, 79, 80. 

Baker, Gen. E. D., 56. 

Baker, Gen. James Heaton, Preface; 138, 157; acquaintance 
and friendship with Governors of Minnesota, 4, 27, 67, 96, 
151, 152, 171, 179, 288; candidate for Congress, 380, 3&L 

Banking System, United States, 41; Minnesota, 394. 

Bankruptcy Act, 347, 354. 

Banks, Gen. N. P., 260. 

Banning, Ho£ William L., 235. 

Barnum, E. P., 241, 337. 

Barton, Hon. Asa, 194. 

Bean, Capt. A. M., 118. 

Beaulieu, Clement H., 360. 

Becker, Hon. George L., 15, 25, 339. 

Berkey, Capt. Peter, 149. 

Beveridge, Hon. Albert J., quoted, 346. 

Biennial sessions of legislature, 236, 237, 247, 248. 

Biermann, Hon. Adolph, 269. 

Big Mound, battle, 94, 151. 

Blakeley, Capt. Russell, 307. 

Board of control, 387, 408, 420, 437. 

Boardman, Capt. L. M., 119. 

Borup, Br. Charles W. W., 9, 80, 360. 

Bottineau, Pierre, 148. 

Boutwell, Rev. William T., 80. 

Bravest Battle, poem by Joaquin Miller, 431. 

Breekeiiridge, Hon. John C, 90. 

Bribe offered to Governor Gorman, 52. 

Brown, John, 18. 

Brown, Hon. Joseph R., 9, 24, 80, 86, 92, 187. 

Bryan, Hon. William J., 275, 375. 

Bryant, Charles S. ? 289, 297, 440. 

Bryant, the poet, quoted, 368. 

Buchanan, President, 18, 69, 70, 86. 

Buell, Hon. B. L., 232. 

Buena Vista, battle, 50. 

Bull Run, battle, 56, 127, 133. 

Bullis, A. H., 370. 

Burbank, James C, 307. 

Camp Lincoln, 134. 

O-mp Pope, 93, 151. 

Camp Release, 92. 

Capital, proposed removal to St. Peter, 52. 

462 . 



INDEX. 

Capital and labor, 161, 353. 

Capitol, first, burned, 238, 270. 

Capitol, new, 3, 13, 209, 222, 324, 343, 417, 442, 459. 

Capitol, old, 35, 215, 277. 

Carlson, Prof. C. J., 436. 

Cass, Gen. Lewis, 82. 

Catlin, George, 82. 

Cavanaugh, Hon. James M., 117. 

Census, Governor Merriam, director, 318-320, 325-6. 

Charities of the state, 160, 164. 

Chase, Hon. Charles L., 71, 72. 

Cheyenne Indians, 98. 

Chicago, 111., 331, 460. 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railway, 409-413. 

Chicago Great Western railway, 266. 

Child, Hon. James B., 291. 

Chippewa Indians (see Ojibways). 

Christian religion, 28, 58, 126, 139, 142, 159, 206, 235, 243, 244, 

245, 287, 391, 416, 428, 452, 458. 
Ckero, quoted, 3; 27, 197, 209. 
Civil service, 301. 

Civil War, 18-21, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54-57, 90, 132-136, 137, 143, 
150-153, 155, 161, 192, 193, 230, 258-265, 273, 280, 288, 289, 
332-3, 361, 372, 397, 399, 400, 421, 426. 
Clapp, Hon. Moses E., 404, 415. 
*Clark, Judge Greenleaf, 239. 

Clay, Henry, 6, 7, 8, 197, 214, 335, 442, 454, 458. 
Cleveland, President, 208, 402, 436, 453. 

Clough, Governor David Marston, 375, 384, 385, 386, 397, 404; 
biography, 357-360; messages, 364, 370-372; ancestry, birth, 
and "education, 361; coming to Minnesota, 362; a lumber- 
man, 362, 369; president of the State Agricultural Society, 
363 ; * lieutenant governor, succeeding to the governorship, 
363; re-election, 364; his administration, 364-8; the war with 
Spain, 365; personal qualities, 366-8; later business life in 
the state of Washington, 368-370; marriage and family, 370; 
quotations from messages, 370-372. 
Cobb, Hon. Daniel, 171. 
Cole, Hon. A. L., 446, 447. 
Collins, Hon. Doren W., 413, 414, 441. 
Columbia College, 112. 
Columbus, Ohio, home and burial monument of Governor 

Medary, 68, 70-73. 
Colvill, Col. William, 256. 
Commerce and labor, .department, 346, 348. 
Common sense, 26, 139, 242, 253, 346, 368, 444. 
Concord, N. H., 228. 

Connecticut, birthplace of Governor Austin, 170. 
Congress, United States, Governor Sibley, delegate, 84; members: 
Governor Ramsey, 7; Governor Gorman, 51; Governor Nelson, 
335, 337; Governor Lind. 380, 392. 

463 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Constitution of Minnesota, 71, 74, 89, 156, 162, 163, 172. 

Constitutional Convention, 14-15, 53, 73-74, 85 f 

Cooper, Hon. David, 36. 

Corinth, Miss., battle, 259, 280. 

Counties organized during Governor Austin's terms, 177; 

Governor Pillsbury's, 241. 
Cox, Hon. Samuel S., 67. 
Cox, Judge E. St. Julien, 241. 
Cretin, Bishop, 80. 
Crooks, Ramsey, 79, 360. 
Cross, George F., 228. 
Cuba, 354, 390. 
Oullen, Major W. L, 55. 
Currency and coinage law, 347. 
Curtin, Gov. Andrew G., 121, 183. 
Cutting, Eggleston, 440. 

Dakota Indians (see Sioux). 

Dakota Territory, 22. 

Daniels, Dr. Asa W., 123, 440. 

Davis, Governor Cushman Kellogg, 24, 113*, 139, 176, 186, 269, 
275, 289, 296, 317, 318, 340, 341, 366, 397, 454; quoted on 
ability of Governor Gorman as a lawyer, 57, and in eulogy 
of his character, 58; biography, 189-217; messages and other 
published writings, 194-6, 203-5, 208-213, 217-223; ancestry, 
birth, and education, 192-3; service in the Civil War, 193; 
coming to St. Paul, and his law practice, 193; United States 
attorney, 194; as a lecturer, 194, 196; elected governor, 194; 
his administration, 194-5; elected United States senator, 
196; services as senator, 196-202; commissioner for the 
treaty of peace with Spain, 198; for annexation of Hawaii, 
199; as chairman of the committee on pensions, 199; of the 
committee on foreign relations, 200; for the Sault Ste. 
Marie canal, 200; on the Monroe doctrine, 201; Ms love of 
literature, 191, 202-206; quotations from his introduction 
of "The Law in Shakespeare," 204; his ability as a lawyer, 
205; his Christian faith, 206; reply to a committee of a rail- 
way strike, 207; orations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 208, 
209; address on the battlefield of Gettysburg, 209, 210; at 
meeting of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, 211-213; 
qualities as an orator, 213; as a statesman, 191, 197-202; in 
private life, and marriage, 214; Ms death and funeral, 215; 
burial in Washington, D. C, and monument, 216; his^ mes- 
sages, with quotations, 217-219; Ms published addresses, 
speeches in the United States Senate, and other works, 
219-223; reference to silver coinage in speech at Crookston, 
quoted, 382. 

Davis, Hon. Charles R., 436. 

Day, Hon. Prank A., 384. 

Dead Buffalo Lake, battle, 95. 

464 



INDEX. 

Bean, Hon. William B., 149. 

Dean, Hon. William J., 338, 364. 

Defalcation by William Seeger, state treasurer, 174-6. 

Democratic party, 6, 14, 15, 67, 85, 87, 90, 127, 177, 340, 

367, m, 3W, 3f0, 443, 452. 
Detroit, Mich., birthplace of Governor Sibley, 77, 78. 
Detroit, Minn., 240, 335. • 
Dillon, Mary, school teacher, 331. 
Dodd, Oapt. W. B., 440.* 
Donahower, F. A., 440. 
Donnelly, Hon. Ignatius, 24, 54, 120, 138, 171, 267, 310, 338, 

339-342. 
Dorsett, Hon. Charles W., 441, 447. 
Douglas, Hon. Stephen A., 54, 69, 70, 90, 132. 
Douglas, Hon. Wallace B., 410. 
Dousman, Hercules L., 79, 105. 
Drainage, 343. 
Drake, Hon. Elias F., 156. 
Driscoll, Frederick, 149, 150. 
Duluth, 207, 335, 384, 418. 
Duly, William J., 93. 
Dunlap, Mrs. Rose Barteau, Preface. 
Dunn, Hon. Robert C, 414, 415, 441. 
Dunnell, Hon. Mark H., 240, 268. 
Dyke, Edwin W., 176. 

Edgerton, E. S., 115. 

Editorial Association, 434. 

Edmunds Bill, 23. 

Ellet, Mrs. Elizabeth F., cited, 77. 

Enabling Act of Congress, 85. 

England, political history, 390. 

Essler, H. J., 433. 

Eustis, Hon. William H., 368, 385, 386, 404-406. 

Evans, Robert G., 316. 

Everett, Wash., 368, 370. 

Fair, Territorial, 1856, 45; State, 271. 

Fair Oaks, battle, 56, 133. 

Fairchild, Sylvester M. 407. 

Faribault, Jean B., and Alexander, 80, 105. 

Farmers' AlMa»ee, 310, 312, 324, 380. 

Fast day proclaimed by Governor Pillsbury, 235. 

Federal courts, 381. 

Fergus Falls, 381. 

Fifth Minnesota Regiment, 258-264, 280. 

Finance, national, 316, 317, 325, 354, 355, 390. 

First Minnesota Regiment, 18, 54, 55, 56, 121, 133, 134, 141, 

209. 
Fisk, Oapt, James L., 120. 

30 465 



MLNTNE80TA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLEOTIONS. 

Fisk, Woodbury, 228. 

Five Million Loan to railroads, 17. 71, 87-89, 156, 163, 172, 

195, 217-219, 232, 233, 236-8, 248, 256. 
Flag presented to First Minnesota Regiment, 55. 
Flags of Minnesota Regiments in the Civil War, 155. 
Flandrau, Hon. Charles E., 25, 71; quoted, 87; 92, 119, 156, 440. 
Fletcher, Hon. Loren, 276, 360, 392.. 
Flour milling, Minneapolis, 229. 
Flower, Gen* Mark D., 281. 
Folwell, Prof. William W., 239. 
Forbes, William H,, 80. 
Ford, poet, quoted, 271. 
Forest fires, Hinckley, 343, 
Forestry, 393. 
Fort Hudson, 333. 
Fort Ridgelv, 92, 150. 
Fort Snelling, 55, 60, 79, 153. 
Franklin, Benjamin, 28. 
Free Silver party, 382-4, 394. 
Free Trade, 391, 451. 
Freeborn, Hon. William, 256". 
Fremont, Gen. John C, 82. 
French, Daniel C, sculptor, 239. 
Fugitive Slave Law, 8. 
Fur companies and traders, 9, 11, 13, 78. 
Furness, Charles E., 35. 

Galena, 111., 148. 

Galesburg, 111., 400. 

Galtier, Father Lucian, 80. 

Garfield, President, 23, 241, 379. 

Gear, Rev. Ezekiel G., 81. 

Geological and natural history survey, 177, 184. 

Gettysburg, Pa., 114, 121, 126, 132, 140, 209, 210, 222, 264, 
322, 372. 

Gibbon, quoted, 206. 

Gibbs, Hon. John L v 290, 294, 404. 

Giddings, Hon. Joshua R., 126. 

Gilbert, Bishop M. 1ST., 101. 

Gilfillan, Hon. Charles D., 154. 

Gilfillan, Hon. John B-, 276* 

Gilman, Hon. Charles A., 290, 294, 311, 335. 

Gladstone, quoted, 34L 

Glencoe, 92. 

Gold standard, 316, 31/. 

Goldsmith, quoted, 27. 

Goodhue county, 267, 281, 378. 

Goodrich, Hon. Aaron, 36. 

Gorman, Governor Willis Arnold, 134, 187, 193, 220, 289, 438, 
439; biography, 47-60; messages, 51, 61-63; birth and edu- 
cation, 49; practice as a lawyer, 49, 50, 53, 57; marriage and 

466 



INDEX. 

family, 50, 59; member of the Indiana legislature, 50; ser- 
vice in the Mexican war, 50; member of Congress, 1849-53, 
51; appointed governor of Minnesota Territory, 1853, 51; 
his administration, 51-53; relation to the St. Peter land 
company, 52; constitutional convention, 53; candidate for 
United States Senate, 54; elected to the state legislature, 
54; presidential campaign, 1860, 54; service in the Civil 
War, 54-57; colonel of the First Minnesota Regiment, 55; 
brigadier general, 55; law partnership with C. K, Davis, 
57; city attorney of St. Paul, 1869-76, 57; character in 
private life and as a citizen, 58; eulogy by Governor Davis, 
57, 58; death and funeral, 60; quotations from his messages, 
61-63. 

Graham, C, C, 257. 

Grand Army of the Republic, 216, 221, 272, 296, 302, 403. 

Grant, Capt. Hiram P., 150. 

Grasshopper scourge, 151, 217, 234, 235, 236, 245, 425. 

Grave®, Hon. Charles H., 335. 

Great Northern railway, 335, 409-413. 

Greeley, Horace, quoted, 228; 430. 

Guizot, quoted, 26. 

Hall, Hon. 0. M., 444. 

Hallock, Minn., 354. 

Hammond, Hon. W. B., 364, 386. 

Hammond, Hon. Winfield S., 440. 

Hancock, Gen. Winfield S., 322. 

Hanna, Hon. Marcus A., 275, 316, 318, 367. 

Harries, Capt. W. H., 440. 

Harriman, Gov. Walter, 228. 

Harrisburg, Pa., 5, 7, 131. 

Harrison, Provost Charles C, 455-6. 

Harrison, Hon. Hugh. 312. 

Harrison, President William Henry, 7, 98. 

Haugan, Hon. Bernt B., 407. 

Hawaii, annexation, 199, 221, 390. 

Hayden, William G., 118, 119. 

Hayes, President, 22. 

Helena, Montana, 412. 

Henderson, 92, 117. 

Henry, Patrick, 28. 

Higgins, Hon. George W., 386. 

High license, 290, 292, 299, 301. 

Hill, James J., 25. 

Hinckley, forest fires, 343. 

Historical Society, Minnesota, Preface, 30, 62, 82, 99, 102, 

104, 124, 138, 158, 165, 179, 184, 208, 220, 222, 250, 272, 280, 

281, 371. 
Holland, 397. 
Hood, Gen. John B., 261-263. 

467 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Hubbard, Governor Lucius Frederick, 139, ,174, 176, 242, 289, 
298, 316, 397; biography, 251-277; messages and other pub- 
lished writings, 270, 277-281; ancestry, birth, and education, 
254-5; coming to Red Wing and editorial work, 255; the 
panic of 1857, 256; his fellow townsmen, 256-7; service in 
the Civil War, colonel of the Fifth Minnesota Regiment, and 
breveted brigadier general, 258-265; later life in Red Wing, 
in flour milling and as a railroad contractor, 265-266; elec- 
tion as governor, 267; his administration, 268-272; later 
honors, and service in the Spanish war, 272-6; removal to 
St. Paul, 277; personal character, 253, 258, 265, 266, 274, 
276; marriage and family, 277; quotations from his * mes- 
sages, 278-280; other papers of his authorship, mostly' on 
the Civil War, 280, 28L 

Hubbard county, named for Governor Hubbard, 272. 

Hudson, N. Y., 400. 

Hughes, Gov. Charles E., of New York, 448. 

Humiston, Hon. R. F., 232. 

Idaho, 412. 

Illinois early home of Governor Van Sant, 399. 

Immigration, 12, 37, 61, 122, 161, 162, 354. 

Indian Affairs, Commission, 44, 53, 90-98, 337, 380. 

Indians (see Ojibways, Sioux, Winnebagoes). 

Indiana, home of Governor Gorman, 49-51. 

Insurance commissioners, 289, 290, 302. 

Insurance reforms, 445, 448. 

Internal Improvements, lands granted for, 155, 164, 172, 173, 

248. 
International law, work of Senator Davis, 198-201, 205, 222, 223. 
Inter-State Commerce, 338; 353, 381. 
Ireland, Archbishop, 25, 60, 259, 260, 273, 281. 
Iron mining, 343, 450, 460. 
Itasca State Park, 352. 
Irves, Hon. Gideon S., 125. 

Jackson, President, 6, 23, 68, 69. 

Jefferson, President, 23. 

Jennison, Gen. Samuel P., 257. 

Johnson, Governor John Albert, 281, 285, 298; biography, 423- 
458; messages and addresses, 443, 459, 460; ancestry, birth, 
and influence of his mother, 425-432; scanty education, and 
early toil, 426-430; becomes an editor, 433; secretary and 
president " of the State Editorial Association, 434; other 
official and social advancement, 435; elected a state senator, 
436; numerous governors and other eminent citizens of St. 
Peter, 437-440; elected governor, 441; his first administration, 
442-5; re-election, 446-7; his policies and reforms, 447-453; 
character as a speaker and politician, 454^5; honorary degree 
of LL.D., conferred by the University of Pennsylvania, 455-6; 

468 



INDEX. 

relations to his party, 457; personal appearance, 458; mar- 
riage, 458; quotations from his messages, 459, 460. 

Johnson, Hon. C. A., 437. 

Johnson, Gen. Richard W., 267. 

Johnson, President, 22, 194. 

Jones, Henry, 427. 

Jones, Prof. Judson, letter of Governor Austin to, 180. 

Kandiyohi county, lands for capital, 156. 

Kansas Territory, Governor Medary, 72; 85, 90, 256. 

Kentucky, birthplace of Governor Gorman, 49. 

Kerr, Rev. A. H., 124. 

Kindred, Charles F., 240, 241, 335-7. 

Kittson, Hon. Norman W., 9, 80. 

Knox, Hon. Philander C, 411. 

Krk, Edward, 407. 

Labor and capital, 161, 353, 371, 450. 

Labor laws, 420. 

Lake City, 302. 

Lamberton, • John and Harry, 440. 

Lamson, Nathan, 121. 

Lands ceded by Indians, 12-13, 37, 121, 338. 

Lands granted to railways, 52 164, 172. 

Lane, Hon. James H., 50. 

Langolon, Hon. R. B., 174. 

Langford, Hon. Nathaniel P., 160. 

Lawler, Hon. Daniel W., 338, 339. 

he Claire, Iowa, 400. 

Leech Lake, Pillager Ojibways, 365. 

Legislation, opinion of Governor Marshall, 164. 

Le Sueur, Pierre Charles, 9. 

Library, first in Minnesota, 80. 

Lincoln, President, 5, 6, 18, 24, 42, 44, 54, 90, 92, 121, 132, 143, 
150, 183, 421, 445, 455. 

Lind, Governor John, 359, 364, 397, 406, 407, 443; biography, 
373-392; messages and other published writings, 387, 392-4; 
ancestry, birth, and education, 377-8; coming to America and 
to New Ulm, Minnesota, 378; law study and admission to 
the bar, 378-9; receiver of the United States land office, 
379; election to Congress, 379; services as Congressman, 380- 
333; views of national finance, 382-3; nomination for governor 
by the Populist, Free Silver, and Democratic parties, 383-4; 
service in the War with Spain, 384; elected governor, 385-6; 
his administration, 387 ; again in law practice and removal to 
Minneapolis, 387; qualities as a speaker and politician, 
388; change of parties, 389-390; in the home, and as a Citi- 
zen, 391; his later term in Congress, 392; marriage, and fam- 
ily, 392; quotations from messages, 393-4. l ' 

Liquor traffic, 291, 299. 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Little Crow, 91, 92, 121. 

Lochren, Hon. William, on military service of Governor Gor- 
man, 56; of Governor Miller, 134; railroad merger, 411. 
Lodge, Hon. Henry C, 223. 
Lofthus, Hon. 0. E., 447. 
Long, Lionel C, 386. 
Long, Major Stephen H., 82. 
Long Prairie river, 37. 
Longfellow, quoted, 350. 
Lord, Hon. Samuel, 444. 
Louisiana Purchase, 83. 

Loyal Legion, 20, 99, 101, 165, 187, 216, 272, 280. 
Lucas, Thomas H., 407. 
Lumbering, 359, 360, 362-3, 369, 381, 397, 401, 402, 444, 446. 

Mackinac, 78. 

Madelia, 151. 

Madison, Wis., 334, 351. 

Maine, early home of Governor Austin, 170. 

Mankato, Preface; 92, 134, 151, 288, 381. 

Manufactures, 185, 393. 

Marquette, Father Jacques, 9. 

Marryatt, Capt. Frederick, 82. 

Marshall, Governor William Rainey, 257, 265, 289, 359, 397; 
biography, 145-160; messages and other published papers, 
155, 160-165; birth and education, 147, 148; coming to St. 
Croix Falls, Wis., and St. Anthony, Minn., 148; removal to 
St. Paul, 149; hardware merchant and banker, 148, 149; 
newspaper publisher, 149-150; in the Civil war and Sioux 
war, 150-153; breveted brigadier general, 153; elected gov- 
ernor, 154-155; his administration, 155-156; again ^ a banker, 
and railroad commissioner, 157; personal qualities, 157- 
159; president and secretary of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, 158; tribute to his character by Rev. Edward C. 
Mitchell, 158-159; death, 159; marriage and family, 160; 
quotations from messages, 160-165. 

Martin, Capt. John, 360. 

Masonry, free, 140, 272. 

Mayall, Hon. Samuel, 173, 194. 

McArthur, Gen. John, 262, 263. 

McCleary, Hon. James T., 380, 446. 

McClellan, Gen. George B., 56. 

McDowell, Gen. Irvin, 55. 

McGill, Governor Andrew Ryan, 178, 179, 180, 289, 310, 311, 
315, 379, 439; biography, 28%»298; messages and other pub- 
lications, 292, 299-302; ancestry, birth, and education, 286-7; 
coming to St. Peter, Minn., 288; work as a teacher, 287-8; 
military services against the Sioux, 288-9; superintendent 
of schools, editor, and law student, 289; private secretary 
to Governor Austin, 289; state insurance commissioner, 
1873-1886, 289-290; elected governor, 290-1; his administra- 

470 



INDEX. 

tion, 202-5; enactment of the high license law, 292; tribute 
to his memory by Hon. L. O. Thorpe, 295; state senator, 
1898-1905, 296; postmaster of St. Paul, 1900-1905, 296; 
marriage and family, 297-8; death and funeral, 298; quo- 
tations from Ms messages, 299-302. 

McKinley, President, 198, 199, 272, 274, 275, 296, 316, 317, 318, 
384. 

McLeod, Hon. Martin, 9, 80. 

McMillan, Hon. S. J. R., 196, 275. 

McPhail, Colonel Samuel, 150, 171. 

McVey, Prof. Frank L., 444. 

Meade, Gen. George G., 322. 

Medary, Governor Samuel, 51; biography, 65-73; messages, 
70-74; birth and education, 68; ft marriage and family, 68, 73; 
early editorial work in Ohio; 67, 68, 69; member of Ohio 
legislature, 68; relations with Presidents Jackson, Polk, and 
Buchanan, 68-70; appointed governor of Minnesota Terri- 
tory, 70; his administration, 70-72; governor of Kansas 
Territory, 1858-60, 72; later work as an editor, 72; death 
and monument, 73; quotations from his messages to the 
legislature of Minnesota, 73, 74. 

Meeker, Hon. Bradley B., 36. s 

Meighen, Hon. Thomas J., 408. 

Meigher, Hon. William, 235. 

Mendota, 8, 79, 81, 82, 85. 

Merger of railroads, 409-413. 

Merriam, Hon. John L., 305, 306, 307. 

Merriam, Governor William Bush, 294, 397; biography, 303- 
323; messages and other publications, 313, 323-6; ancestry, 
birth, and education, 305-308; bank clerk, cashier, and 
president, 308; member and Speaker of the legislature, 309; 
president of the State Agricultural Society, 310; elected 
governor, 311-312; his administration, 313; personal charac- 
ter as a citizen and politician, 314-317, 321; his opinions on 
national finance, 316, 317; alienation of Senator Davis, 317- 
318; services of Governor Merriam as Director of the Cen- 
sus, 318; tributes to him by Dr. S. N. D. North, his suc- 
cessor in the Census Office, 319-320; later business and resi- 
dence in the city of Washington, 320; marriage and family, 
322; quotations from his messages, 323-324; papers on the 
national banking system and on the Census, 325-6. 

Mexican War, service of Governor Gorman, 50. 

Michigan, early home of Governor Sibley, 77, 78. 

Miller, Governor Stephen, 122, 151, 152, 154, 289, 359, 397;. bio- 
graphy, 129-142; messages, 137, 142-144; ancestry, birth and 
education, 129, 131; editor and lecturer, 131; removal to St. 
Cloud, Minn., 131; speaker in the presidential campaign, 
1860, 132; in the Civil War, 132-136; the Sioux outbreak, 
134-135; elected governor, 136; his administration, 136-137; 
later years ^at Worthington, 137, 140; poetic writings, 138; 
his character, 139-140, 142; marriage and family, 140, 132, 

471 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

137; death and ihonument, 140-141; quotations from his 

messages, 142-144. 
Miller, Joaquin, poem by, 431. 
Miners' strike, 450. 
Mining, 393 444, 445, 450, 460. 
Minneapolis,' 100* 156, 178, 17*0, 208, 220, 221, 222, 228-SJ30, 

239, 250, 27§, £91, 202, 312, 330, 344, 303, 364, 381, 387. 

392, 417, 440, 444^ . 

Minnesota Pioneer^ 36. 
Mississippi river, navigation, 22, 38. 
Missouri, birthplace of Governor Marshall, 147. 
Missouri CJomproniise, 18, 40. 
Mitchell, Bev. Edward 0., on character of Governor Marshall, 

15$* 
Mobile, Ala., campaign, 263* 281, 
Monroe dqetrine, 201, 222. 
Monroe, President, 453. 
Montana, 22, 412. 
Monument of Governor Medary, 73; of Governor Miller, 141 $ 

&t Governor Davis, 216. 
Moore, J. R k , 179, 440. 
Motrill, F. E., 1^9. 
Morrill, Hon. Lot, 170. 
Morrison, Hon. Allan, 9, 80, 360. 
Morrfson, Porilus, 360. 
Morrison. William, 80. 
Morton, Gov. Oliver P., 183. 
Moss, Hon. Henry L., 36. 

Mothers, influence of, 77, 287, 331, 333, 377, 429^432. 
Mound, Lake Minnetonka, 178> 179. 
Munch, Emil, state treasurer, 171). 

Napoleon, 264, 430; poem of Kedlitz, 211; quoted, 43Q. 

Nash, Hon. Jay E., 408, 442. 

Nashville, Tenn., battle^ 152, 258, 281. 

National Guard, Minnesota, 434. 

Negro suffrage, 22. 

Nelson, Governor Knute, 240, 289, 359, 391, 3^7, 430; bio- 
graphy, 327-351; messages and other published writings, 
351-355; birth and education, 330^332; service in the Civil 
War, 332-3; admission to the bar, and election to tl^e 
Wisconsin legislature, 334; removal to Alexandria, Miuttj, 
and eleetiOn as eotinty attorney, 334, 335; state senator 
and member of Congress, 335-338; elected governor, 33^0; 
sketch of Ignatius Donnelly, candidate for governor ift WW* 
339-342; Governor Nelson's administration, 343; election to 
the Unitedt States senate, $44$ his services in the qgpata, 
34$-34$$ personal <jUalit|e^ 348^350; in private life, an<| as 
a qitizeup 351; marriage ahd family, 351; quotations, fro!* 
his m\e&wges p 352-3; speeches as a member of Congress and 
United States senator, 353-5, " 

47S5 



INDEX. 

New England, compared with the Northwest, 9, 350. 

New Hampshire, early home of Governor Pillsbury, 227, 228, 
243; of Governor Clough, 361. 

New Jersey, 398, 409. 

New Orleans, 1 332. 

New Ulm, 20, 92, 118-119, 170, 37S, 379, 384, 387, 391, 392. 

Nawaon, Major Thomas' M. ; 155. 

Newspapers, 37, 67-69, 72, 122, 131, 149, 176, 289, 295, 311, 331, 
336, 341, 388, 433, 434. 

New York state, birthplace of Governor Davis, 192: of Gov- 
ernor Hubbard, 254; of Governor Merriam, 306. 

Nicaragua canal, 221. 

Nicollet, Joseph Nicolas, 10, 82, 105. 

Nicollet county, 435, 436. 

Nicols, John, 149. 

Ninniger, 340. 

Ninth Minnesota Regiment, 152. 

Normal Schools, 402, 418, 445. 

North, Dr. S. N. D., tribute to ability of Governor Merriam 
as director of the Census, 319-320. 

Northern Pacific railroad, 22, 336, 409-413. 

Northern Securities Company, 409-413. 

Northrop, President Cyrus, 239, 418. 

Northwest Territory, 82-83. 

Norton, Hon. Daniel S., 45, 123, 173. 

Norway, birthplace of Goveftior Nelson, 329-331. 

Norwegian immigration to Minnesota, 330. 

Nye, Hon. Frank M., 384. 

Oakes, Charles H., 80, 360. 

Oakland cemetery, St. Paul, 35, 60, 101, 159, 180, 181, 216, 298. 

Ohio, home of Governor Medary, 08-70, 72, 73; early home 

and burial place of Governor Swift, 111-114; 124. 
Ojibways, treaty, 1863, 13, 121; Nelson Law, 338, 365. 
Oklahoma, 355. 
Omaha, Neb., 234. 
Oregon boundary question, 69. 
Otis, Hon. George L., 171. 
Ovid, quoted, 27. 
Owatonna, 271. 
Owen, Hon. Sidney M., 312, 313, 339, 383. 

Pacific railroad* 199. 

Page, Judge Sherman, impeachment, 220. 

Paintings in the New Capitol, 13. 

Panic, 1857, 86, 117, 149, 228, 230, 256. 

Pardoning board, 300. 

Paris Exposition, 420. 

Pasadena, Cal., 158, 159. 

Paulding, E. E., 440. 

Paynesville, 136. 

473 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Peel, Sir Robert, 390. 

Pembina band of Ojibways, 13. 

Penn, William, 12. 

Pennsylvania, early home of Governor Ramsey, 4-5; his poli- 
tical services there, 7-8, 425; birthplace of Governor Medary, 
68; early home of Governor Miller, 131; of Governor McGill, 
286. 

Pensions of Civil War service, 199, 348. 

People's party, 338, 339, 384, 386, 408. 

Phelps, Hon. William W., 257. 

Philadelphia, 339. 

Philippine Islands, 335, 390, 451, 

Pierce, President, 51, 70, 438. 

Pike, Lieut. Zebulon M., 10. 

Pillager Indians, an Ojibway band, 365. 

Pillsbury, Hon. Charles A., 229, 360. 

Pillsbury, Hon. George A., 228, 229, 360. 

Pillsbury, Governor John Sargent, 24, 100, 139, 156, 253, 267, 
269, 270, 359, 360, 397; biography, 225-244; messages and 
other published writings, 233, 235, 244-250; ancestry, birth, 
and education, 227; his early business life, 228; coming to 
Minneapolis, 228; in hardware business and flour manu- 
facturing, 228, 229; state senator, 1863-75, 230; services in 
the Civil War and the Indian outbreak, 230; regent of the 
State University, from 1863 through his life, 230, 231, 238, 
239, 249, 250; elected governor, 232; his administration 
during six years, 232-238; the grasshopper scourge, 234-5; 
settlement of the state railroad bonds, 236-8, 248; the capitol 
burned, 238; gift of Science Hall, since named Pillsbury 
Hall, to the State University,* 239; his statue placed in front 
of the University Library, 239; gift of the public library 
building, East Minneapolis, 239; contests of candidates for 
Congress, 240, 241; impeachment of Judge E. St. Julien Cox, 
241; character of Governor Pillsbury, 229, 233, 242-3; mar- 
riage and family, 243-4; death, 243; quotations from his mes- 
sages, 244-249; other publications and presentation of the 
Memorial Town Hall, Sutton, N. H., 24^-50. 

Pinkham, Hon. James P.. 313. 

Pioneer Press, 237, 336. 

Pioneer of Minnesota, 9, 80, 397. 

Pipestone, Minn., 380. 

Poems of Governor Miller, 138. 

Polk, President, 69. 

Pond, S. W., and G. H., 80, 105, 

Pope, Gen, John, 259, 

Populist party, 339, 340, 383, 385, 386, 388, 403, 407, 408. 

Portraits of the Governors of Minnesota, 3; also see the Preface. 

Postal legislation, Senator Ramsey, 22, 45. 

Pratt, Col. Benjamin P., 440. 

Prescott, Philander, 80. 

Price, Gen. Sterling, 261, 281. 

474 



INDEX. 

Prisons, 300, 301. 

Proclamation organizing Minnesota Territory. 8, 36, 115. 

Prohibition party, 173, 194* 291, 312, 313, *339, 364, 380, 386, 

407, 408, 442, 447. 
Protection, 391. 
Provencalie, Louis, 80. 
Public Ownership party, 442, 447. 
Purdy, Hon. Milton D., 411. 

Quincy, 111., early home of Governor Marshall, 147. 

Racine College, 308. 

Railroad bonds (see Five Million Loan). 

Railroad Commissioners^, 157, 178, 270, 289, 448, 449. 

Railroad merger, 409-413. 

Railway legislation, 17, 52, 71, 85, 87-89, 99, 164, 177, 183, 194, 
219, 233, 270, 278, 293, 335, 355, 381, 387, 444, 445, 446, 448, 
451, 460. 

Railway strikers, Governor Davis 5 reply to, 207, 221. 

Ramsey, Governor Alexander, 84, 86, 91, 107, 115, 120, 133, 
139, 149, 150, 176, 196, 242, 257, 269, 272, 281, 397, 438; 
biography, 1-35; messages and other published writings, 36- 
46; ancestry and birth, 5; education and early influences, 
5-7; political services in Pennsylvania, 1840-48, 7-8; member 
of Congress, 1843-47, 7; appointment as first governor of 
Minnesota Territory, 8; official proclamation as governor, 
June 1, 1849, 8, 36; condition of the New Territory, 9, 10; 
treaties with the Dakota Indians, at Traverse des Sioux and 
Mendota, 1851, 10-13; treaty with the Ojibways, 1863, 13; 
mayor of St. Paul, 1855, 14, 44; joins the newly formed 
Republican party, 14; Republican candidate for governor, 
1857, 15; elected second governor of the State, 1859, 15; 
summary of his administration, 15-21; founder of the state 
school fund, 16; economic reforms, 16; action concerning 
the "Five Million Loan," 17; the Civil War, 14, 18, 54; the 
Sioux outbreak, 1862, 19-20, 42; election and service as 
United States senator, 1863-75, 21-22; secretary of war, 
1879-81, 22, 45; member of the Utah Commission, 1882-86, 
23, 45; estimate of his character, 23-34; his associates, in 
Minnesota, 9, 24-25; his common sense, 26; as a speaker, 
27; a Presbyterian, 28; in the home and in social life, 29-30; 
personal appearance, 30; devotion to the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society, 30-31, 45-46; marriage and children, 8, 34-35; 
last years and death, 32-35; development of the country 
during his lifetime, 33-34; quotations from his messages, 
36-44; his other addresses, reports, and papers, 44-46; statue 
recommended by Governor Van Sant, 421. 
Ramsey, Mrs. Anna E., 8, 34, 55. 
Randall, Major Benjamin H.» 440. 

Ravenna, Ohio, early home and burial place of Governor Swift, 
111-114, 124. 

475 



MINNESOTA IIIS1QRICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Ravoux, Father Augustin, 80. 

Red Lake band of Ojibways, 13. 

Red River, carts, 10; lands ceded, 13, 121. 

Red Wing, 255-7, 265, 266. 

Reforms by Governor Ramsey, 16; Governor Pillsbury, 246. 

Renville, Joseph, 9, 80. 

Republican party, Preface; 14, 15, 67, 85, 87, 127, 149, 154, 177, 

276, 291, 294, 309, 340, 367, 382-3, 386, 390, 441, 444, 452. 
Revolution, military services, American, 77, 112, 227, 254, 286, 

306, 399, 417. 
Reynolds, Ira B., 380. 
Rice, Hon. Edmund, 9, 24, 236. 
Rice, Hon* Henry M., 9, 24, 80, 154, 165, 360. 
Riggs, Rev. Stephen R., 80. 
Rivers of Minnesota, 37. 
Roads, 371. 
Rochester, 458. 

Rock Island, 111., birthplace of Governor Van Sant, 399. 
Rolette, Joseph, Sr., 79. 
Rolette, Hon. Joseph, 52, 53, 187, 438. 
Roosevelt, President, 390, 411, 413, 448. 
Rosecrans, Gen, William S., quoted, 259» 
Rosing, Hon. Leonard A., 407. 
Rush, Dr. William, 307. 

Sabin, Hon. Dwight M., 268, 309, 344, 345. 
Sackett, J. R., and A. L., 440. 

Saint Anthony, 100, 148, 208, 220, 228, 230, 360, 363, 366. 
Saint Cloud, isi, 132, 134. 
Saint Croix Falls, Wis., 148. 
Saint Louis, Mo., 114. 

Saint Paul, 8, 14, 35, 44, 45, 51, 57, 81, 85, 98, 100, 101, 114, 
115, 122, 153, 159, 193, 209, 219, 220, 222, 235, 238, 270, 276, 

277, 290, 292, 296, 307-309, 314, 322, 338, 418. 
Saint Paul and Sioux City Railroad Co., 137. 

Saint Peter, 52, 92, 115-117, 123, 170, 237, 285, 288, 289, 429, 

432, 435, 438-440, 458. 
Sanborn, Gen. John B., 264. 
Sault Ste. Marie, 78; canal, 201, 221. 
Scandinavian voters, 241, 330, 345, 376, 385, 386, 387, 397. 
Scanlon, Hon. Charles, 408. 
Scheffer, Hon. Albert, 276, 290, g94, 311. 
Scheffer Charles 175. 

School lands and fund, 16, 41, 160, 164, 230, 313, 421, 460. 
School system, 118, 177, 185, 236, 245, 370, 394, 402, 408, 418, 

427, 444, 449. 
Schoolcraft, Henry R., 10, 78, 82. 
Scott, Bred, J8, 90. 
Scott, Gen. Winfi^d, 55. 
Scott, Sir Walter, quoted, 426, 
Seeger, William, state treasurer, defaulter, 174-176. 

476r 



INDEX. 

Senate, United States, 21, 24, 197-201, 332, 340, 344-348, 421. 

Severance, Cordenio A., 215. 

Severance, Hon. Martin J., 118. 

Seventh Minnesota Regiment, 133 134, 141, 150, 152, 153. 

S&afcempeare, studies published by Governor Davis, 196, 203-205, 
220; by Hon. Ignatius Donnelly, 342. 

Sheldon, Theodore B., 257. 

Sherman, Gen. William T., 261, 262. 

Shields, Gen. James, 51. 

Sibley, Governor Henry Hastings, Preface, 7, 8, 9, 15, 24, 26, 
29, 72, 135, 139, 151, 217, 242, 272, 289, 359, 360, 397, 443; 
biography, 75-103; messages and other published papers, 103- 
105; ancestry and birth, 77; tribute to his mother by Mrs. 
lllet, 77; his education, 78; clerk at Sault St. Marie, 78; of 
the American Fur Company at Mackainac, 78; appointed in 
charge of that company' headquarters post for the North- 
west, at St. Peter's, 1834, 79; first valuable personal library 
in Minnesota, 80; friendship with Protestant and Catholic 
missionaries, 80; his associates in the fur trade, 80; his 
hunting expeditions, 81; marriage and family, 81, 101; home 
life and hospitality, 81-82; delegate in Congress, 82-85; 
member of the Territorial legislature, 85; of the State con- 
stitutional convention, 85-86; first governor of the State, 86; 
his administration, 86-90; the Five Million Loan for rail- 
roads, 87-89; the Sioux outbreak, 90-92; campaign against 
the Sioux, 1863, 93-98; breveted major general, 98; president 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, and bequest of his 
papers, 99, 102, 103; last years and honors, 101; summary 
of his character, 102; quotations from his messages, 103-104; 
other addresses and memoirs, 104-105. 

Silver question, 316, 375, 382-3, 394. 

Sioux outbreak, 1862, 19-20, 42-43, 90-98, 118-120, 134, 135, 170, 
171, 187, 230, 258, 273, 280, 288, 289, 297, 425, 439. 

Sioux treaties, 1851, 11-13, 37, 43, 44, 53. 

Slavery questions, 14, 18, 40, 44, 90, 104, 113, 143, 398. 

Smalley, Eugene V., Preface. 

Smith, Gen. A. J., 260, 263. 

Smith, Hon. Charles K v 36. 

Smith, Rev. Samuel G., 206, 298. 

Socialist party, 364, 386, 407, 408, 442. 

Soldiers' Home, 272, 293. 

Sons of the American Revolution, 158, 272. 

South, the, demands <eoneeraing slavery, 40, 104, 113. 

Sproat, Col. Ebenezer, 77. 

Statehood, admission of Minnesota, 63, 71, 73, 74, 85, 86, 103, 
255. 

Statue of Governor Pillsbury, 239; of Governor Ramsey, pro- 
posed, 421. 

Steamboating, 401, 402. 

Stearns, Hon. Ozora P., 173. 

Steele, Iranklin, 9, 80, 81, 148. 

477 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

Stevens, Col. John H., 9. 

Stillwater, 402. 

Strike of miners, 450. 

Stone, Dr. A. J., 215. 

Stony Lake, battle, 95-96. 

Stuart, Robert, 360. 

Sully, Gen, Alfred, 96, 97. 

Supreme Court of Minnesota, 88, 196, 248, 312, 414. 

Supreme Court of the United States, 233, 411, 412. 

Sutton, N. H., 249. 

Sweden, early home of Governor Lind, 377; of parents of 
Governor Johnson, 432, 457. 

Swedenborgian church, 159. 

Swift, Governor Henry Adoniram, quoted concerning Governor 
Ramsey, 15; 136, 285, 287, 289, 439, 440; biography, 109-126; 
message, 120, 126-7; ancestry, birth, and education, 111-113; 
tutor in Mississippi, 113; admission to bar, 114; clerk of the 
Ohio legislature, 114; marriage and family, 114, 124-125; 
coming to St. Paul, Minnesota, 114; removal to St. Peter, 
115-116; panic of 1857, 117; state senator, 1862-63, 117-120; 
the Sioux outbreak, 118-119; becomes governor, 120; his 
administration, 120-122; again a state senator, 123; register 
of the United States Land Office, 123; death and funeral, 
124; his character, 125-126; quotations from his message, 
126-127; tribute to him by Governor Austin, 182. 

Swisshelm, Henry, 131. 

Tariff, 338, 353, 375, 380, 381, 383, 391, 436, 446, 451, 453. 

Tax commission, 393, 419, 420, 444, 449, 459. 

Taxation, 271, 293, 387, 392, 393, 408, 420, 436, 449, 451, 459. 

Taylor, Hon. Joshua L., 36. 

Taylor, President, 8, 50, 84, 421. 

Teeumseh, 98. 

Teller, Hon. Henry M., 354, 382. 

Temperance, 291, 292-4, 299. 

Tennessee, Society of the Army of the, 211, 221. 

Tennyson, quoted, 34. 

Tenth Minnesota Regiment, 96, 152, 257. 

Territorial growth of Minnesota, 39, 62-63. 

Territory, Minnesota, organized, 83, 84, 115. 

Thacher, Hon. Joseph A., 257. 

Thomas, Gen. George H., 261, 262, 263. 

Thompson, George, 316. 

Thompson, Horace, 175. ^ 

Thorpe, Hon. L. O., tribute to memory of Governor McGill, 295. 

Towne, Hon. Charles A., 384. 

Townsite speculation, 1857, 70, 87, 256. 

Tracy, 379. 

Traders with Indians, 9, 11, 13. 

Traverse des Sioux, 11, 439. 

478 _ 



INDEX. 

Treasury of United States, secretary, 41; 140; Governor Austin, 

auditor, 177; William Windom, secretary, 241, 268-9. 
Treaties with the Oheyennes, 98. 

Treaties with the Sioux, 1851, 11-13, 37, 43, 44, 53, 421, 439. 
Treaty with the Ojibways, 18#S, 13, 44, 53, 121, 421. 
Treaty of peace with Spain, 198. 
Trusts, 325, 451. 
Tyler, -President, 7. 

Ueland, Andreas, 387. 
Uncle Tom's Cabin, 115. 

Union, the, loyalty to, 40, 54, 142-144, 161, 400, 421. 
University of Michigan, 193. 

University of Minnesota, 24, 99, 120, 177, 184-185, 222, 230, 
231, 238, 239, 243, 249, 250, 351, 352, 391, 408, 418, 437, 449. 
University of New Jersey, Princeton, 100. 
University of Pennsylvania, 223, 455, 460. 
Upham, Dr. Warren, Preface. 
Usury in 1857, 256. 
Utah Commission, Governor Ramsey as a member, 28, 45. 

Van Buren, President, 255. 

Van Lear, Thomas, 408. 

Van Sant, Governor Samuel Rinnan, 289, 298, 386; biography, 
395-418; messages, 418-421; ancestry, birth, and education, 
397-9; service in the Civil War, 399-400; subsequent studies, 
and work as a ship carpenter, 400; disasters in business and 
at home, 401; removal to Winona, prosperity, public ser- 
vices, election to the legislature, and as Speaker of the 
House, 402; commander in the Grand Army of the Republic, 
403; speeches in the Republican state conventions of 1896 
and 1898, 404-406; election as governor, 407; his administra- 
tion, 408; opposition to the railroad merger, 409-413; party 
controversy in the ensuing state campaign, 414-415; character 
of Governor Van Sant, 415-416; personal appearance, 417; 
marriage and family, 417-418; quotations from his mes- 
sages, 418-421; his eulogy of Governor Ramsey, recommend- 
ing a statue, 421. 

Venezuela, 199. 

Vermilion lake, 155. 

Vermont, 386. 

Vieksburg, siege of, 260, 281, 296, 333, 460. 

Vilas, Col. William P., 333, 334. 

Virginia, for some time the home of Governor Medary, 68; 
82, 83, 285. 

Voltaire, quoted, 111; 206. 

Wakefield, Hon. James B., 379. 

Walker, Thomas B., 360. 

War (see Civil War, Mexican War, Spanish War). 

War of 1812, 417. 

479 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS. 

War, Governor Ramsey as Secretary of, 22, 45, 421. 

Ward, Hon. W. G., 174, 240. 

Waseca 240 

Washburn, Hon. William D., 176, 194, 196, 267, 276, 306, 344, 

345, 360, 385. 
Washington, President, 23, 103, 286, 287, 430, 453. 
Washington, D. C v 32Q, 351, 421. 

Washington state, 412. * . 

Watab riiver 37. 

Webster, Daniel, 8, 197, 214, 335, 391, 442, 454; quoted, 2& 
Welless, Hon. Henry T., 136. 

West, Ilev. Nathaniel, Life of Governor Sibley, Preface. 
Wesf;, the, influence on the East, 28. 
Western Reserve, Ohio, 113. 
Western Reserve College, 113. 
Wheat grading, 267, 271, 436. 
Wheelock, Joseph A., 25, 149, 150, 237, 238. 
Whig party, 6, 8, 11, 14, 67, 
Wilder, Amherst H., 305. 
Wilder, Judge Eli T. ? 257. 
Wilkin, Col. Alexander, 152. 
Wilkinson, Major Melville C, 365. 
Wilkinson, Hon. Morton S., 24, 379. 
Williams, John Fletcher, 124. 
Williamson, Rev, Thomas S., 80. 
Wilmot, Hon. David, 8. 
Wilmot Proviso, 7, 8. 

Wilson, Hon. Eugene M., 312. ( 

Wilton, Major T. P., 281, 
Wilson, Hon. Thomas, 312. 

Windom, Hon. William, 34, 173, 241, 268-9, 309. 
Winnebago Indians, 13, 37. 
Winona, 312, 3^1, 402, 403. 
Wisconsin, admission as a state, 82; early home of Governor 

Davis, 192, 193; of Governor Nelson, 331-4. 
Wisconsin, aid against the Sioux outbreak, 43. 
Wood Lake, battle, 92, 151. 
Wordsworth, quoted, 183. 

Worthington, home of Governor Miller, 137-141. 
Wren, Sir Christopher, epitaph, 34. 
Wright County war, 89. 

Young, Hon. Winthrop, 173. 

JBedlitz, poet, cited, 211. 
Zumbrota, 257, 266. 



480 



WNIV, OP MM***